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Foi{eign Policy 


Am eric 

Jane Hunter 


Foreign Policy 


hy Jane Hunter 

South End Press Boston, MA 

Copyright ® 1987 by Jane Hunter 

Copyrights are required for book production in the United States. 
However, in our case it is a disliked necessity. Thus, any properly 
footnoted quotation of up to 500 sequential words may be used without 
permission, so long as the total number of words does not exceed 2,000. 
For longer quotations or for a greater number of total words, authors 
should write to South End Press for permission. 

The charts on pages 110, 133, and 141 are reproduced with the kind 
permission of Bishara Bahbah, from his book Israel and Latin America: The 
Military Connection (New York: St. Martin's Press, in association with 
Washington, D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1986). 

Typesetting, design, and layout by the South End Press collective 
Cover by Todd Jailer 
Manufactured in the U.S.A. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Hunter, Jane, 1943- 

Israeli foreign policy. 

Includes index. 

1 . Israel — Foreign relations — South Africa. 

2. South Africa — Foreign relations — Israel. 

3. Israel — Foreign relations — Central America. 

4. Central America — Foreign relations — Israel. 
I. Title. 

DS119.8.S6H86 1987 327.5694068 87—13024 
ISBN 0-89608-286-5 
ISBN 0-89608-285-7 (pbk.) 

South End Press 1 1 6 St. Botolph St. Boston, MA 02 1 1 5 

96 95 94 93 92 91 90 89 88 87 12 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 

To my children 
Charlie and Jenny 
with love and affection 

Table of Contents 

Introduction i 

Part I: Israel and South Africa 

History 19 

Arms Industry 31 

Arms Sales and Policy 47 

Economy 61 

The Bantustans 71 

Political and Cultural Ties 81 

Part II: Israel and Central America 

El Salvador 95 

Guatemala Ill 

Nicaragua Under Somoza 137 

Israel and the Contras 145 

A Classic Case of Disinformation: 

"Anti-Semitism and the Sandinistas" 169 

Will the Lessons Be Learned? 179 

Conclusion i85 

Footnotes 201 

Index 263 


Another Man's Genius 

"This will always be our response to international boycotts and 
threats against us," said President P. W. Botha as he unveiled the Cheetah, 
South Africa's advanced combat aircraft. The South Africans said that the 
plane was a secret project of the government's Armaments Corporation.' 

Claiming the new aircraft was more than a match for neighboring 
Angola's MiG-23s, Gen. Magnus Malan, the white government's defense 
minister, told the assembled industrialists and foreign press corps that the 
Cheetah "signaled a new era of self sufficiency and enhanced operational 
capability for the South African Air Force." It was proof of the 
technological leadership of the South African arms industry, asserted 
President Botha.^ 

The Cheetah was also the one major item an international arms 
embargo had managed to deny South Africa. The South Africans, who in 
July 1986 were anxiously following the progress of sanctions legislation in 
the U.S., lost no time in driving that point home. 

In its nightly broadcast to North America, Radio South Africa said the 
"futility" of the UN's 1977 arms embargo 

was recognized 1 8 months ago by the UN General Assembly, 
which called on member countries to stop importing arms from 
South Africa. After all, they were supposed to be applying an 
arms boycott against the country... The arms embargo has 
achieved the opposite of what it was intended to achieve. In the 



last two decades the country has built up the tenth largest arms 
industry in the world and this achievement was the direct 
response of the misguided attempt to isolate South Africa and 
make it more vulnerable to outside pressures.' 

In all their jubilation, the South Africans omitted one key detail: Israel 
Aircraft Industries (lAI) had played a major role in creating the Cheetah 
out of the carcass of an aging Mirage III-C. The Cheetah was the latest of a 
number of projects on which the state-owned lAI and other Israeli 
weapons manufacturers had collaborated with the South Africans. 

Vanunu and Hasenfus 

On October 5, 1986 the London Sunday Times carried a front page 
account of Israel's nuclear capability. The information had been provided 
by dissaffected Israeli technician Mordechai Vanunu, who had worked at 
Israel's secret plutonium plant in an underground facility in the Negev 
Desert. The account astonished leading nuclear scientists — some of whom 
had been called in to challenge Vanunu, and to verify the photographs he 
had smuggled out of Israel — who were forced to revise their estimates 
upward and declare Israel to be the world's sixth largest nuclear power.* 

Over the years bits and pieces of Israel's nuclear weapons development 
had emerged: a series of tests on weapons and delivery systems with the 
French in Algeria;^ Francis Perrin, for many years head of the French 
atomic agency, recently admitted that France built Israel the nuclear reactor 
at Dimona in the Negev, and also that between 1957 and 1959 the two 
governments had been working together on an atomic bomb;' the 
discovery in 1 965, just after the Dimona plant came on line, that as much as 
130 pounds of enriched uranium was missing from the NUMEC enrich- 
ment plant (which the CIA believed was largely financed by Israel) in 
Apollo, Pennsylvania;^ the preparation of nuclear-tipped Jericho missiles 
for use in the early days of Israel's 1973 war;^ a joint program with Iran 
under the Shah to build and test long-range, nuclear-capable missiles;' the 
test with South Africa of a nuclear missile in the South Atlantic in 
September 1979; and reports in 1985 that Israel had deployed nuclear- 
armed Jericho II missiles in the Negev Desert and perhaps also in the 
occupied Golan Heights. 

All this, coming as it did in fragmentary reports over a period of 30 
years, did not add up to alarm. The October 5, 1986 story which for the 

Introduction 3 

first time portrayed all the megatonnage at Israel's disposal and described, 
in the words of leading nuclear scientists, Israel's ability to produce 
sophisticated thermonuclear warheads, did not rouse much reaction from 
disarmament activists or from most Western governments. A report by a 
small newsletter that South African scientists had habitually worked at the 
secret plant in Dimona was put on the desk of every member of Congress. It 
was ignored. 

Had it not been for the continuing drama surrounding the fate of 
Mordechai Vanunu, the matter might have been completely forgotten. On 
September 30, 1986, Vanunu disappeared in London. The following 
November 9, the Israeli government announced it had him in custody and 
would try him for treason and espionage. Vanunu later made it known to 
journalists that he had been kidnapped in Rome. Although smeared by the 
Israeli media as a traitor and a money-grubbing opportunist, through a 
hunger strike and messages delivered through his lawyer, a friend, and his 
brothers, Vanunu contended that he had acted out of principle. His travails 
sparked Israel's first ever anti-nuclear effort. Support for him began to 
grow in the U.S.'" 

Also on October 5, 1986, a U.S. mercenary was captured when 
Nicaraguan soldiers shot down the plane in which he had been ferrying 
arms to the anti-Nicaragua contras. The admissions made by load master 
Eugene Hasenfus to the press in Nicaragua sparked investigations that 
revealed a network of high U.S. officials and former military and 
intelligence officers put together to circumvent the will of Congress and aid 
the counterrevolutionary bands assembled by the CIA in the early days of 
the Reagan Administration. It soon emerged that financing for the supply 
operation — it had been called, with a wink and a nod, "private aid" — had 
been obtained by shaking down Egypt and Israel for kickbacks on their 
U.S. aid. Even greater amounts of money had been squeezed out of Saudi 
Arabia, as an expression of thanks for administration support of the 
kingdom's purchase of AW ACS aircraft against the wishes of the pro- 
Israeli lobby in Congress in 1981. 

The Hasenfus scandal was soon transcended by the discovery that 
Israel had led a small group within the Reagan Administration into a 
complicated morass where Israel sold U.S. arms to Iran (persuading the 
Iranians to ransom U.S. hostages held in Lebanon) and applied a part of the 
profits from those arms deals to the purchase (from Israel and other sources) 
of weapons for the contras. Known as the Iran-contra affair, this imbroglio 
riveted the national attention to several areas of policy which had long been 


However, in their understandable — if belated — lust to pin these crimes 
on the President, the Congress and the media blithely ignored the 
intellectual author of the intricate disaster — Israel." 

The Perfect Coup d'Etat 

The coup came off like clockwork. Since 1981, the young officers had 
been meticulously planning their move. On March 23,1982, soldiers of the 
Mariscal Zavala Brigade ran through the streets of Guatemala City to take 
up positions around the Presidential Palace. So secret had been the 
preparations — by one account even the CIA and the U.S. embassy were 
taken by surprise — that in order to identify one another the participants 
had, at a coded signal, rolled up the right sleeves of their combat fatigues. 

While helicopters flew above the palace, other participants took over 
radio and television stations and closed the national airport. Outside 
Guatemala City, garrison by garrison, the military declared its allegiance to 
the young officers' revolt. At four in the afternoon, head of state Gen. 
Romeo Lucas Garcia quietly surrendered. 

The man chosen by the young officers to succeed him. Gen. Efrain 
Rios Montt,'^ told ABC News that he attributed the success of the coup to 
the training of "many of our soldiers" by Israelis.'^ As they had assisted 
Lucas Garcia, Israeli advisers would help Rios Montt's scorched earth fight 
against the insurgency that was sweeping the rural highlands. They would 
help with the implementation and design of a forced resettlement program 
in that largely Mayan Indian area. 

Rios Montt was a Protestant Evangelical affiliated with a U.S. 
fundamentalist sect — the first non-Catholic head of state in Guatemala's 
history. During his tenure, right-wing fundamentalists from the U.S. 
flooded into the Indian highlands and began to take an active part in the 
"pacification" activities underway there. 

In August 1983, Rios Montt was overthrown by officers offended by 
"the aggressive and fanatic religious groups" which had access to the 
highest levels of his government (and by his promotion of young 
officers).'* He was then spirited away to Miami by an Israeli adviser. Both 
Israelis and right-wing U.S. Christians continue to work in the resettle- 
ment program, where Indians must often eat food donated by right-wing 
religious organizations while they are forced to grow crops for export. 

Introduction 5 


In each of these instances Israel acted autonomously, directing its own 
foreign policy for the sake of its own objectives. Yet in all of these 
instances — and they are not selective, but rather illustrative of the many 
occasions on which Israel has intervened in the course of another nation's 
history — the United States was party to Israel's action. 

Israel's presence in Guatemala cannot be divorced from the historical 
process begun when the CIA overthrew that country's elected government 
in 1954. Regarding South Africa, the Carter Administration gave Israel a 
green light to continue its relationship with apartheid, asking only that the 
Israeli Kfir aircraft and the Merkava tank, developed with substantial U.S. 
funding, not be suplied to the white government" and, as shall be seen, 
turned a blind eye when Israel and South Africa tested a nuclear weapon in 
1979. It can be safely assumed that the Reagan White House was 
wholeheartedly in support of the continuing growth of Israeli-South 
African ties. But even some of the most ardent progressives within the U.S. 
Congress went out of their way to avoid confronting Israel over its support 
of South Africa at the same time they were fashioning sanctions against the 
apartheid state. 

Of the instances cited, and of those to be mentioned in the following 
pages, there is not a single one that does not cry out for the attention of 
those who oppose the course of post-war foreign policy from a progressive 

There is also a special responsibility for U.S. activists to make 
themselves heard regarding Israel's ambitious involvement in repressive 
situations. Throughout the world Israel is perceived as acting as a 
representative of the U.S., whether or not, in any given set of circum- 
stances, this is actually the case. When the victims of Israeli weapons hear no 
outcry from the opponents of U.S. policies, they are justified in wondering 
by what set of criteria progressives operate. 

In fact, it is the very reluctance of the progressive movement to turn its 
critical focus on Israel that has led to the growth of Israel's role as an adjunct 
to some of the most inexcusable undertakings of U.S. foreign policy. 

Ratcheting this irony yet another turn is the indisputable correlation 
between progressive foreign policy achievements and Israeli intervention: 
the latter cancels the former out, almost every time. When Congress, 
pressed by constituents, cut off aid to the anti-Nicaraguan contras, Israeli 
aid to the contra mercenaries increased. When Congress warned that a 


rightist coup in El Salvador would result in a cancellation of U.S. aid, 
Salvadoran rightists propitiated Israel. 

To cite a more current — and retrievable — example, when the South 
Africans carry on about the bracing effect of sanctions they are bragging 
mainly for domestic consumption, to reassure anxious whites. They are 
also providing their supporters abroad a last-ditch argument: sanctions 
don't work. However, sanctions do work and the South Africans are very 
nervous about their actual and psychological effect. The U.S. anti- 
apartheid measures are particularly frightening to the South Africans, but 
they will only have their desired effect if their enforcement by the 
administration and Congress is monitored vigilantly — and if Israel is 
prevented from making a mockery of them. 

The U.S. has had a reasonably functional arms embargo against South 
Africa for a decade — during which time Israel, as shall be seen, helped 
South Africa establish an indigenous arms industry." Months before the 
1986 anti-apartheid legislation was passed, Israeli officials were urging 
South African businessmen to ship their products to the U.S. via Israel to 
take advantage of Israel's special duty-free trade agreement with Wash- 

Thus, our hard won victories regularly turn to ashes. The congres- 
sional intention built so laboriously by grassroots activism is cynically 
subverted. The obvious corrective would be for Congress to accompany 
each of its anti-intervention and anti-apartheid actions with a postscript 
enjoining Israel to adhere to the spirit of the action. In a pointed (if 
unintended) message to activists, a small step was taken in this direction 
when an amendment requiring that South African dealings of U.S. allies be 
scrutinized was tacked onto the anti-apartheid legislation of 1986 (see 
Conclusion). Authored by retiring Republican Senator Charles McC. 
Mathias, it raised the hackles of not a few Congresspeople. 

It is clear, however, that no sustained initiative will come spon- 
taneously from Congress, and that without vigorous pressure Congress 
will go on as it has for so long considering Israel to be beyond reproach. 

Indeed, Congress is the last body that might be expected to reassess its 
no-questions-asked support of Israel. In the process of cultivating the U.S. 
support so critical for its survival, Israel and its domestic support system 
have, logically enough, made Congress, with its powers of appropriation, 
the central focus of their efforts. (The executive branch of government and 
the media have been a secondary, but by no means insignificant, focus.) 

The enormous amount of U.S. aid that Congress regularly bestows 
upon Israel — $3 billion for 1987 — is a testament to the success of those 
efforts. So large has Israel's aid package become, by any standard of 

Introduction 7 

comparison, that it is commonly considered to be indebted to the U.S. 
Many, upon hearing that Israel has taken over the task of propping up this 
dictator or that despot, simply assume that Israel has taken over in 
situations which Congress (or, as in the case of the Carter White House and 
its human rights policies, the President) has declared out of bounds for the 
U.S., as a quid pro quo for the aid it receives — that these are the invisible 
strings attached to Israeli military and economic assistance. But this 
perception is not entirely accurate, nor is it very useful in understanding the 
dynamics of Israeli interventionism in the framework of U.S. -Israeli 

How the U.S.-Israeli Relationship Evolved 

There are two important historical threads to follow — Israel's search 
for an international backer and its quest for political independence. Out of 
their ostensibly contradictory meanderings is woven the stark fabric of 
Israel's reality. 

Israel was established in part by a plan drafted by the United Nations 
and in part by "facts on the ground," territory in Palestine occupied by 
Jewish forces in fighting during the final days of the British Mandate and 
immediately following the departure of the British from Palestine. 

A United Nations plan passed in 1947 for the partition of Palestine 
into Jewish, Arab, and international states conferred legitimacy on the 
concept of a Jewish state. The partition plan was approved by the USSR, 
the U.S., and France. In its early days Israel — which declared independence 
in May 1948 while claiming sovereignty over a territory already well 
outside its UN-drawn borders'^ — would turn to both of the latter for 

France was the most immediately forthcoming, supplying the new 
state with weapons and technical support. Then, in June 1967, the Israelis 
received the back of de Gaulle's hand. Just as Israel commenced its attack on 
its neighbors, the French president blocked the delivery of all arms to Israel, 
an embargo which included an already-paid- for fleet of 50 Mirage aircraft 
and a number of missile boats." 

It was at that point that Israel turned the full force of its attention to the 
U.S. If the 1967 war had repelled de Gaulle, it had the opposite effect on 
U.S. Jews, inspiring them into devoted support for Israel. The U.S. had 
soon replaced France as a reliable international backer for Israel. 



Froi^i the Ruins, an Israel Lobby 


/ The history of American Jews and their interactions with the 
/ government in Washington is complex, as were Jewish communal politics 
' in the first half of this century. There were then, as now, progressive Jews, 
many of whom came to the U.S. from Eastern Europe during the mass 
' migrations o f the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries . There were 
also the self-styled aristocrats, mostly German Jews, who had arrived in the 
U.S. throughout the course of the nineteenth century and who had 
prospered. In a very general sense the progressive Jews participated in the 
broad popular movements of the day, while the aristocrats— in their 
organized manifestation represented by B'nai B'rith, a fratern al order, and 
the A merican Jewish Committee, an _exclusiv e organiz ation^nstituted to 
*combat anti-Semitism — appropriated the role of sometime ethnic advo- 
cates, piiSicmgTquTet diplomacy with highly-placed officials to whom 
they had access by virtue of their wealth and power.^" 

With the rise of Hitler, the divisions in the Jewish community became 
apparent. The aristocrats counseled quiet approaches to those in power — 
the U.S. was, until well after World War II, an unabashedly anti-Semitic 
society and many Jews believed it was best not to have too high a profile — 
while those Jews identified with popular causes participated in strenuous 
efforts to warn of the dangers of German fascism. Preeminent among these 
efforts was a boycott campaign against Hitler, spearheaded by Rabbi 
Stephen Wise of the American Jewish Congress.^' The attempted 1933 
boycott was undercut in its initial stages by the American Jewish 
Committee and B'nai B'rith who feared a backlash against Jewish 

The protest drive against Nazi Germany started with a March 27, 
1933 rally in New York's Madison Square Garden that drew tens of 
thousands and received international support." The ground was soon cut 
out from under this early opposition to Hitler when several (competing) 
Zionist factions began negotiating with the Third Reich to ransom the Jews 
of Germany. 

Zionist leaders, during April 1933, sought to cooperate with the 
Nazi Reich to arrange the orderly exit of Jewish people and 
wealth from Germany. But during the very same weeks, Jewish 
groups throughout the world were struggling to resist and 
topple the Reich to keep Jews in Germany as citizens.^* 

Ultimately a "Transfer Agreement" was worked out, under which the 
funds of wealthy German Jews were shared between the Reich, the Jewish 

Introduction 9 

authorities in Palestine, and, on arrival there, by the emigrating Jews. It 
was, as intended, a way of rapidly building Zionism during a period when 
the movement for a Jewish national homeland had a small and divided 

Relatively few organized American Jews were Zionists until after the 
shock of the Holocaust, Hitler's murder of 6 million Jews. News of Hitler's 
genocide against the Jews was confirmed by the governments of the U.S., 
the UK, and the USSR in \9\l?-'> A shaken Jewish community came 
together to issue a statement that included endorsement of a Jewish state in 
Palestine. 2^ However, the ascendancy of Zionism during the critical period 
1942-44 had the overarching side-effect of blunting efforts to rescue 
European Jews. Bound up in political contention, very few Jewish leaders 
responded forcefully to the plight of the Jews in Europe. 

An unavoidable conclusion is that during the Holocaust the 
leadership of American Zionism concentrated its major force on 
the drive for a future Jewish state in Palestine. It consigned 
rescue to a distinctly secondary position.^^ 

After the war Jews intensively lobbied the Truman Administration, 
first to back the UN partition plan, and then to recognize the newly 
established state of Israel. Facing an uphill fight for reelection in 1948, 
Harry Truman ignored the counsel of the State Department, the Depart- 
ment of the Navy, the War Department and the Joint Chiefs of StafP' and 
responded instead to a flood of letters and personal approaches, recognizing 
Israel in May 1 984.^" There was bitterness in the State Department, where 
it was remembered that the recently deceased President Roosevelt had 
promised Arab leaders to consult with them before taking such a step.'' 

Suddenly moved by the Holocaust, both houses of Congress also 
responded to the political onslaught mounted by Jewish activists with 
resolutions supporting recognition of Israel.'^ 

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the only President to resist pressure from 
the pro-Israeli lobby, as the incresingly well organized Jewish com- 
munity was coming to be known. On three occasions Eisenhower withheld 
U.S. aid from Israel: to force it to stop diverting water from Jordan in 1953, 
to force it to cease its attack on Egypt (the Suez crisis of 1 956) and to force it 
to withdraw from Egyptian territory occupied during its 1956 war. In the 
face of militant opposition from a Congress already swayed by Israeli 
lobbying efforts and supportive of Israel's determination to hold the land it 
had seized, Eisenhower maintained his hardnosed approach, asking, 
"Should a nation which attacks and occupies foreign territory in the face of 
''^he United Nations disapproval be allowed to impose conditions on its own 


' Israel received more solicitious treatment from the next two presidents, 
Kennedy and Johnson. U.S. arms sales began under the Kennedy 
Administration.^* The Johnson Administration secretly helped Israel 
prepare for its 1 967 war, and when the French cut off Israel's arms supplies, 
the Johnson Administration kept Israel in equipment" long enough for 
Israel to increase the territory under its control by 200 percent.'^ President 
Johnson courted the Jewish community by calling attention to the aid his 
administration was giving Israel." Johnson also strongly urged Israel to 
extend diplomatic recognition to the puppet government his administration 
was backing in South Vietnam and to send a health team there. Israel 
refused, agreeing only after months of requests to accept under conditions 
of complete secrecy eight Vietnamese agricultural trainees in Israel.'^ 
Almost two decades later, this scenario would be repeated, when Israel 
refused to be the lead player with the contras. 

Richard Nixon was a strong supporter of Israel and was generous with 
aid during its 1973 war, although as Watergate engulfed him he was 
\ reportedly toying with the idea of suspending military aid to Israel as a way 
of forcing it to approach its Arab neighbors for peace.'' Nonetheless, with 
the exception of some elements of Reform Judaism, no major Jewish 
organizations took a stand against Nixon, and when it became clear that 
Nixon might have to surrender the presidency, some Jewish leaders 
expressed a preference for him over Vice President Gerald Ford.*" Ford 
actually did suspend aid to Israel, during a 1975 "reassessment" of U.S. 
Middle East policy.*' Reassessment was a euphemistic way of expressing 
extreme displeasure with Israel's intransigent refusal to vacate several 
positions in Egypt. In response to the Ford cutoff, pro-Israeli forces 
worked the Congress until Ford relented.*^ 

Jimmy Carter is remembered for knocking together the heads of 
Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to achieve the 1 978 
Camp David accords. But his administration was very susceptible to Israeli 
pressure, both directly and through the Congress, where ^IPAC (the 
American Israel Public Affairs Committee}Jmel^egisjere£]oy^^ 
^as "maklhgltTptrwerlelt. ~Ca^^ IrecThis UN^ Ambassador Andrew 
Young after Young met with the PLO representative to the UN. 
Unwilling or unable to order Israel to stop its dealings with South Africa, 
Carter presided over a cover-up "investigation" of a nuclear weapons test 
conducted by Israel and South Africa in 1979. 

While all of the administrations since Eisenhower were obliging to one 
degree or another, the Reagan Administration seems to have made Israel 
the object of cult worship. It is known that the President subscribes to the 
superstition propounded by right-wing Christian fundamentalists that 

Introduction 1 1 

Israel will be the site of the battle of Armageddon which precedes the end of 
times.*' To help Israel prepare for more immediate battles, the Reagan 
Administration has increased its military and economic aid to the highest 
levels ever. It was also Ronald Reagan that allowed his administration to be 
directed by Israeli officials and Americans partial to Israel in the sale of arms 
to Iran and funneling of funds to the war against Nicaragua. But even with 
Reagan, a president with whom Israel enjoyed a "virtual honeymoon that 
existed over most of.. .six years,"** the pro-Israeli lobby often felt 
compelled to intervene, through Congress and with other government 
agencies, in the fashioning of Middle East policy and other matters it 
considered to be within its realm of interest. 

Several years into the Reagan Administration it was common 
knowledge that the Israeli government had "friends" placed in every nook 
of the vast bureaucracy of the executive branch of the federal government. 

The [pro-Israeli] lobby's intelligence network, having numer- 
ous volunteer "friendlies" to tap, reaches all parts of the 
executive branch where matters concerning Israel are handled. 
Awareness of this seepage keeps officials — whatever rung of the 
ladder they occupy — from making or even proposing decisions 
that are in the U.S. interest.*' 

Whereas the State Department, with its history-conscious bureaucracy and 
its seasoned professionals had once acted as a counterbalance to the political 
suasions of the pro-Israeli forces, under Reagan it seems to have succumbed. 
Even the Secretary of State, George Shultz — formerly with the large 
Bechtel construction company and close to Arab governments — has 
become a wholehearted supporter of Israel. 

While relations with each administration had their high and low 
points, Israeli influence with the Congress was plotted on an ever- 
ascending curve. Besides cultivating the legislative branch as the source of 
financial assistance, Israel mastered the craft of using Congress to overcome 
political opposition from the executive branch. In legislation concerning 
Israel, Congress has set numerous precedents: a Free Trade Agreement; a 
resolution demanding the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel 
Aviv to Jerusalem (having been advised by State Department officials that 
such a move would ignite anti-U.S. protests in Muslim nations as far distant 
as Indonesia, the President did not act on this); permission to spend military 
aid on development of weapons in Israel.*' Although it has empowered 
itself to do so. Congress has never called Israel to account for its nuclear 
weapons program. Members of Congress seem to compete to speak at 
pro-Israel events (many of which include honoraria). 


The incredible success of Israel's lobby argues strongly that rather 
than progressively obligating Israel, the astronomical rise in aid is a product 
of Israeli influence on the Congress. That much of the influence is gained 
by pressure, browbeating, and intimidation rather than the presentation of 
a convincing case— Congress, for example, routinely appropriates billions 
for Israel's "defense" rather than pressing it to conclude a just peace with its 
neighbors and with the Palestinian people— suggests that as it wins more 
concessions from Congress, Israel is simultaneously entrenching its 
position in a never-never land called "beyond reproach."*' 

The Development of Israel's Arms Industry 

De Gaulle's halting of the arms flow at such a critical juncture also 
provided Israel with the impetus to embark on a crash program to develop 
an arms industry. 

In this endeavor, Israel was not starting from scratch. As early as 1 92 1 , 
Jewish settlers in Palestine had made hand grenades and explosives for use 
against Arabs protesting their presence.*^ The history of the Jewish state's 
foundation is laden with tales of weapons obtained abroad by hook or by 
crook, and of secret workshops in British-ruled Palestine where primitive 
small arms were constructed.*' 

After the establishment of Israel in 1948 these munitions factories 
were brought above ground and incorporated into a government-owned 
military industry. As the great powers, for varying geopolitical reasons, 
were slow to sell arms to the new state, the Israelis pressed ahead, producing 
the Uzi submachine gun in 1 952 , and by 1 965 had developed the rudiments 
of aviation, munitions, and electronics industries. Israel's objective was a 
guaranteed source of supply, but as early as 1954 it also began marketing 

In 1 967, shaken by de Gaulle's abrupt cancellation of major contracts 
for aircraft and patrol boats, the Israelis embarked on a crash effort to lower 
their future political vulnerability by striving toward self-sufficiency in 
weapons production.^' They opted to invest funds that had previously 
been earmarked for purchases overseas into the indigenous arms industry.^^ 

In keeping with the decision immediately after the war to 
proceed with an intensified effort to develop and enlarge Israel's 
own weapons industry, cost-benefit calculations were set aside 
in favor of producing essential items in Israel." 

Introduction 1 3 

With some critical technological inputs from abroad— some arriving in 
the form of foreign investment and purchase of foreign technology ,5* some 
pilfered, such as plans for the Mirage combat aircraft which were stolen by 
Mossad, Israel's secret service, from the French Dassault company's Swiss 
licensee," making possible the task of designing and building the Mirage- 
copy Kfir jet fighter — the arms industry expanded rapidly. Israeli deter- 
mination was further spurred by displeasure with the amount of time it 
took the U.S. to resupply Israel during the 1973 war.^^ 

By the end of the 1 970s, the Israeli military industry was supplying 40 
percent of Israel's military needs." But production runs solely for the 
domestic market resulted in high costs per item. The longer production 
runs necessary to lower unit costs created an imperative to export. 

The government began a concerted marketing campaign, through 
diplomatic and military contacts, as well as news releases and exhibits at 
fairs. In later years a sales force of retired military officers eager for 
commissions fanned out over the globe.'' While the secrecy of the Israeli 
government makes it impossible to exactly calculate the volume of Israel's 
weapons sales abroad, the general consensus of analysts of the international 
arms trade indicates that between 1972 and 1980 Israel's arms exports 
soared, particularly in the latter part of that span, rising from $50 million'" 
to top $1 billion,^' and, with the possible exception of 1983," have 
remained over $1 billion annually . A 1986 estimate puts annual sales at 
"m ore than II . 2 5 bi llion ■ "'^ Since 1982 Israel has been ranked among the 
world's top ten arms producers.''' 

The importance to the overall economy of the arms manufacturing 
sector also increased, with weapons exports estimated to have comprised 3 1 
percent of industrial exports in 1975, up from 14 percent in 1967'^ and 
more recently 30 to 40 percent of Israel's industrial output.'* The arms 
industry employs "anywhere from 58,000 to as many as 1 20,000 Israelis," 
or, taking the lower figure, 20 percent of the industrial labor force,'' with 
the biggest unit, Israel Aircraft Industries, the nation's largest employer, 
carrying 20,000 on its payroll.'^ 

The export imperative, in turn, brought its own set of problems, these 
centering on the overseas markets available to Israel and on its choice of 
customers from that list. For varying reasons, Israel was largely shut out of 
the Eastern Bloc, the Arab world and NATO countries. That left its poten- 
tial clientele to be found on the peripheries: pariahs such as South Africa and 
Guatemala, the strong-man regimes of Taiwan, Zaire, and Chile, and the 
occasional government wary of strings-attached arms purchases from the 
superpowers. Over the years Israel has sold weapons — and often along 
with the weapons come Israeli advisers — to Costa Rica, Dominican 


Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua 
(under Somoza), Panama, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, 
Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, 
Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, Rhodesia, South Africa, Svi^aziland, Tanzania, 
Uganda, Zaire, Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, 
Papua-New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, 
Iran, and a number of European countries and several non-governmental 
factions.'*' Sometimes even the least desirable customers have required some 
softening up: "Greatly detailed stories abound of the huge bribes Israel has 
used to suborn defense ministries, with the sole objective of nailing down 
arms deals."'" 

As time went on an additional problem arose: arms sales became the 
motor driving Israel's foreign policy. In times of economic crisis it became 
the supreme exigency. In September 1986, the Israeli defense minister 
explained to a press conference what was behind a raft of scandals involving 
Israeli arms exports and technology thefts (these last, most frequently from 
the U.S., have been an inevitable hallmark of a small country attempting to 
sustain a full-scale armaments industry). "...We cut our orders in our 
military industries..." he said, "and I told them quite frankly: 'Either you'll 
fire people or find export markets.' 

The export markets open to Israel are frequently among the world's 
most unsavory; indeed, to be off limits to the superpowers they often are 
located inside the very gates of hell. Already under international censure for 
its oppression of the Palestinians in the territories it occupies, Israel's 
dealings with the scum of the world's tyrants — including the white clique 
in South Africa, Somoza of Nicaragua, Gen. Pinochet of Chile, Marcos of 
the Philippines, Duvalier of Haiti, Mobutu of Zaire, the allegedly 
cannibalistic Bokassa of the Central African Republic'^ — invariably result 
in its further exclusion from more "respectable" circles. "A person who 
sleeps with dogs shouldn't be surprised to find himself covered with fleas," 
comments the military correspondent for Israel's major daily newspaper.'^ 

Israeli critics, who term the phenomenon "arms diplomacy," warn 
that the export imperative has motivated a sequence of ad hoc, opportunistic 
decisions that have precluded the development of a coherent foreign policy, 
which, in turn, might over the long term mitigate Israel's isolated position 
in the world. Yet these critics are far from sanguine about the ability of 
Israel to set itself on a different course. 

They point to the power of the "security establishment lobby," 
comprised of the upper echelon of Israel's political leadership (this has 
remained remarkably constant since the founding of the state), the top 
levels of the military, and the officials of the parastatal arms industries. As in 

Introduction 1 5 

the U.S., there is a "revolving door" in Israel, with many of the top figures 
serving successively in two or all three of these sectors. It is these men who 
find the clients and have insider access to the Ministerial Committee on 
Weapons Transfers (MCD) — its members are the prime minister and the 
ministers of defense, foreign affairs, and trade and industry — which will 
make the final decision on every sale.'* Such decisions are made secretly — 
the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, excluded. The cabinet, too, is often 
excluded. Critics of the hegemony of the arms export business say it has 
relegated the foreign ministry to a subordinate role in Israeli foreign policy 
making, and they see in its wake grave social and political consequences. 

A sector has evolved in Israel, headed by an elite with identical 
social characteristics and marked by a fairly high degree of 
cohesiveness, whose decisions and actions have a significant 
effect not only on the country's economy and its foreign and 
defense policy but also on its social and value systems. No less 
important, however, is the issue of whether a closed system has 
been created whose activities and decisions undergo less public 
supervision and scrutiny than any other area of life in the 

A Co-equal Type of Proxy 

Israeli analysts often argue that Israeli arms sales are dependent on U.S. 
approval;'* in a limited sense this is true. The U.S. has blocked — at the 
behest of Britain— the delivery of A-4 Skyhawks to Argentina, and it has in 
the past vetoed the export of the Kfir aircraft, leverage it is able to exert 
because of the Kfir's U.S. engine. However, the Carter Administration was 
unable to prevent Israeli nuclear cooperation with South Africa, and the 
Reagan Administration was unsuccessful in persuading the Israelis to halt 
their arms sales to Iran in the early 1980s (assuming it wanted to). The 
Israeli success in persuading the Reagan Administration to incorporate 
Israeli arms sales to the Islamic Republic into a bizarre and controversial 
series of contacts with Iranian leaders is probably more typical of the 
operative U.S. -Israeli dynamic. 

On the other hand, Israel has often obliged this or that sector of the 
U.S. government, selling arms where it would be embarrassing or illegal 
for the U.S. to do so: the contras, the Peoples Republic of China in the early 
1980s," and the Derg government of Ethiopia'^ are examples. In 1975, 


Israel followed Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's advice and helped 
South Africa with its invasion of Angola.''' Even after the passage the 
following year of the Clark Amendment forbidding U.S. covert involve- 
ment in Angola, Israel apparently considered Kissinger's nod a continuing 

Given the export imperative under which the Israeli government 
operates, this 1981 proposal from the chief economic coordinator in the 
Israeli cabinet, Yacov Meridor, should be taken with great seriousness: 

We are going to say to the Americans, "Don't compete with us 
in South Africa, don't compete with us in the Caribbean or in 
any other country where you can't operate in the open." Let us 
do it. I even use the expression, "You sell the ammunition and 
equipment by proxy. Israel will be your proxy," and this would 
be worked out with a certain agreement with the United States 
where we will have certain markets... which will be left for us.^" 

Part I 

Israel and South Africa 


Israel and South Africa 

Israel's ties with South Africa seem to be especially disturbing to many 
who follow Israel's international activities. Perhaps it is natural that Israel 
has been castigated more harshly for its arms sales to South Africa than for 
its sales to other countries: first, because there has been for a decade an arms 
embargo against South Africa; and second, because of the unsurpassed 
criminality of the white regime and the uses to which it puts the Israeli- 
supplied weapons. 

It has also been said that those arms sales are understandable, given the 
striking similarities between the two countries in their day-to-day abuse 
and repression of their subject populations. South African blacks and 
Palestinians under Israeli rule; in their operating philosophies of apartheid 
and Zionism; and in their similar objective situations: "the only two 
Western nations to have established themselves in a predominantly non- 
white part of the world," as a South African Broadcasting Corporation 
editorial put it.' That understanding, however, is somewhat superficial, 
and the focus on similarities of po/iaca/ behavior has somewhat obscured the 
view of the breadth and depth of the totality of Israeli-South African 
relations and their implications. 

Israel's relations with South Africa are different than its interactions 
with any of its other arms clients. That Israel gave South Africa its nuclear 
weapons capability underscores the special nature of Tel Aviv's relations 
with the white minority government and begins to describe it— a full- 



fledged, if covert, partnership based on the determination of both countries 
to continue as unrepentant pariahs and to help each other avoid the 
consequences of their behavior. 

For South Africa's sake the partnership is designed to thwart 
international efforts against apartheid. What South Africa is expected to do 
for Israel is not as easily delineated; some Israeli critics, in fact, have argued 
that nothing South Africa can do for Israel is worth the price Israel has paid 
in international opprobrium. 

Israel has become embroiled in an unequal relationship with 
ambiguous returns. The scope of exchange, though diverse, is 
meager. The benefit Israel derives from these interchanges is 
unclear; in any event it is in no way commensurate to that reaped 
by the other partner in the equation.^ 

Beyond the guessing game (due to the strict secrecy maintained by 
Israel and to a lesser extent by South Africa) into which discussions of 
Israeli-South African links frequently deteriorate, it is certain that some- 
thing of value is being received in Israel. To Naomi Chazan, the Israeli 
critic whose words appear above, that value received might be worthless, 
even negative, as she is holding it up to a standard she describes as "the 
nature and development of an Israeli ethos" out of what she views as Israel's 

Chazan's image of a liberal, beneficent state of Israel is also the 
dominant one in the minds of many North Americans. However, during its 
not quite 40 years, the liberal, or socially progressive state of Israel has 
existed mostly in the blandishments of fundraisers and the flatterings of the 
U.S. media, where it has existed at all.* The Israeli leadership, from the 
start, were hardened people, who took a hard lesson from the Holocaust 
and the centuries of Jewish travail that preceded it. The current leadership, 
where it differs from the founders, almost all of whom have come through 
the higher ranks of the Israeli military, have not softened. 

Their understanding of modern Jewish history , with its themes 
of the Holocaust and poweriessness, reinforced by long profes- 
sional military training, causes these elites to be impressed by 
visible manifestations of power and strength at the same time as 
they are inclined to be cynical toward false standards of 
international conduct.' 

Whatever the large and small incentives to be found in links with South 
Africa, Israel's leaders have pursued them avidly. 

Israel and South Africa 


An Early Zionist Outpost 

Fifty years before the Holocaust, utterly determined Zionists began 
going to South Africa to enlist support for a Jewish national home in 
Palestine. They found support in the flourishing Jewish community and 
access to leading figures in the British empire. 

Small numbers of Jews had arrived in South Africa in the beginning of 
the nineteenth century — when non-Christians were first allowed to settle 
in the Cape Colony.* In the wake of pogroms in the late nineteenth and 
early twentieth centuries a great migration from Eastern Europe — mainly 
Lithuania — brought the major part of the present day Jewish community to 
South Africa. A small number of the new immigrants were socialists who 
considered the idea of a Jewish national home in Palestine a backward 
notion; the large majority of South African Jews were rapidly won over to 
Zionism^ decades before their co-religionists in the U.S. or Europe. 

Early in this century South African Jews began to lobby leaders of the 
South African government to "persuade them to intercede on behalf of 
Zionism with the British Government which controlled the fate of 
Palestine." At the request of Theodore Herzl, considered the founder of 
Zionism, the South Africans approached Cecil Rhodes, the Cape Colony 
premier who took personal responsibility for extending Britain's grasp on 
Africa, and other prominent figures. A 1916 approach to General Jan 
Smuts, who would later lead the South African government, bore 
spectacular fruit. As a member of the British War Cabinet, Smuts supported 
the drafting of the 1917 Balfour Declaration, a statement of Britain's 
commitment to a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Through the years, though 
British commitment to the declaration wavered, Smuts' support was 

He consistently maintained that the strategic safety of Britain's 
main line of imperial communication through the Suez Canal 
would be best assured if there were a British-sponsored Jewish 
homeland adjacent to it...[W]hen the Balfour Declaration was 
being drafted, his immediate consideration was to find "a 
formula to which the Great Powers would agree," for staking 
Britain's claim "to the main role in the future of post-war 
Palestine in cooperation with the Jews. 

In London Smuts befriended Chaim Weizmann, who would become 
Israel's first president. In 1943, Weizmann wrote a memo to Smuts 
outlining a plan to develop industry and agriculture in Africa and the 
Middle East capable of competing with U.S. industry. The scheme was "of 


great importance," Weizmann stressed, "and it is doubtful whether there 
exists any other scheme of equal importance for the future of the empire."' 

Although the British Empire through which Weizmann and Smuts 
foresaw the realization of their peoples' futures was about to collapse, their 
contacts, and Smuts' continuing attachment to Zionism— as premier, the 
South African leader would remain a stalwart supporter of the Zionist 
movement, often acting as a fundraiser for Zionist organizations- 
generated significant momentum for the drive for Jewish statehood. 

Many other South African leaders were attracted to the Zionist cause. 
In 1962, the cabinet of the Union of South Africa passed a resolution 
pledging support in international forums for "a National Home for the Jewish 
People in Palestine — an object which it regards as an important contribu- 
tion to peace and civilization."'" 

In 1 934, South African Jews formed Africa-Israel Investments to buy 
land in Palestine. Now owned by Israel's Bank Leumi, Africa-Israel 
Investments owns choice residential and industrial real estate. South 
Africans remain as minority shareholders and company debentures are sold 
in South Africa." Bank Leumi itself has about 1,000 South African 
stockholders. At the height of the civil turmoil in 1986, the Africa-Israel 
Company was negotiating a $50 million contract with the white South 
African government and a West German firm to build 1,700 units of 
housing for blacks near Capetown "in order to calm hostilities there. "'^ 

In the late 1 940s, Prime Minister Smuts permitted South African Jews 
to send money and supplies to the Jewish forces in Palestine, as well as 
permitting a great number of enthusiastic South African volunteers to join 
the fight to establish the state of Israel. South African Jews have long been 
the highest contributors to Zionist causes and Israel on a per capita basis." 
In May 1948, Prime Minister Smuts extended de facto recognition to the 
new state. 

The Founding of the State: Jews Should Go "Thither" 

In 1948, the end of the British mandate— and the concurrent estab- 
lishment of the state of Israel — coincided with the accession of a new set of 
leaders in South Africa. These were the Afrikans-speaking Nationalists 
who had supported the Nazis in the recent war and whose defeat of the 
Smuts government was greatly worrying to South African Jews. However, 
the Nationalist Premier, Daniel Malan, publicly assured Jews that there 

Israel and South Africa 23 

would be no discrimination against them.'^ Malan allowed the money and 
supplies sent by South African Jews to Israel to continue and even turned a 
blind eye to the departure of Jewish volunteers."* He extended de jure 
recognition to Israel in 1949, and in 1953 became the first foreign head of 
state to visit Israel.'^ 

There was a cynical side to all this good will, which would haunt the 
South African Jewish community in following years. The centerpiece of 
the Afrikaner Nationalists' campaign platform was apartheid, and they 
moved quickly to institutionalize the racial segregation that had always 
been a feature of South African life. According to James Adams, Malan's 
cordiality to the Jewish community was "a shrewd move." Not only did 
the Nationalists realize that persecution of the Jews would have sparked 
both international repercussions and a flight of capital from South Africa, 
writes Adams, but their granting of concessions: 

bought off the Jewish hierarchy who were now faced with a 
very delicate issue of divided loyalty. ..the Jews were well aware 
that a vociferous campaign against apartheid might well result in 
the Malan government or its successors abandoning previous 
agreements... [and] possibly introducing discrimination in some 
form against the Jewish population.'^ 

However, the Transvaal branch of the Nationalist Party continued for 
several years to bar Jews from membership." And although (spurred by 
their dislike for the British) Afrikaners had begun in the late 1940s to 
identify with the establishment of a Jewish state, as the Afrikaner press 
expressed it, their well-wishing was the kind of support so often given to 
Zionists by anti-Semites. At a time when the displaced person camps in 
Europe were flooded with homeless Jews, The Transvaaler editorialized that 
it "grant[ed] the Jew his ideals in Palestine but, at the same time, desire[d] an 
increasing exodus of Jews thither and not their increase here."^" 

Gen. Yigal Allon, who would later be Israel's Foreign Minister, got a 
warm reception from South Africa's Defense Minister F. C. Erasmus in 
May 1956. He warned the South Africans of the Egyptian leader Col. 
Nasser and said, "it would not be many years before South Africa would 
have to ask permission to cross the Red Sea."^' This did not grab the 
Afrikaner imagination, as South Africa was developing trade ties with 
Arab nations and did not have a great deal of use for Israel in the 1950s. 
South Africa did not reciprocate the Israeli establishment of a consulate (in 
1 949) until 1 97 1 ,^2 ten years after it was forced out of the Commonwealth 
of Nations and eight years after the first serious round of UN sanctions 
against it. 


Although Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Sharrett visited in 1951" 
and war hero (later Defense Minister) Moshe Dayan in 1957,2* just as 
South Africa was being internationally ostracized because of its apartheid 
system, Israel's interest in closer ties had diminished as it began to 
successfully court the emerging nations of Africa with creative develop- 
ment assistance programs. 

The approach to Africa reflected Israel's decision in the late 1950s to 
leapfrog over its immediate — hostile — neighbors in its search for diplomatic 
and economic contacts. Africa, where many nations were just receiving 
independence, was a natural choice. A friendship cultivated by Israeli 
Premier Ben Gurion with Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's founding leader, 
facilitated the approach. During the 1960s, Israel signed cooperation 
agreements with 20 African nations. By 1970, 2,483 Israeli experts had 
completed assignments in Africa in fields ranging from rural development 
to banking and construction; and 6,62 3 African trainees had come to Israel 
for training. 2' 

Israel and its assistance programs were well received in Africa. 
Africans identified with Israel as a fellow graduate from British colonialism, 
and Israel's shirt-sleeve instructors were welcome for their egalitarianism. 
The Israelis brought none of the political baggage that the former 
colonizers inevitably carried. Then too, many African leaders admired the 
rapid progress Israel had made in the social and technological integration of 
new immigrants, as well as its agricultural achievements. Along with the 
civilian expertise, military assistance was frequently given to friendly 
African governments. 

Ironically, one of the major fields of emphasis was trade unionism. 
Israel's labor federation, Histadrut, played a leading role in training African 
unionists and members of cooperatives.^^ Evidence is now beginning to 
mount which indicates that during its halcyon African days, Israel served as 
a conduit for money from the CIA.^^ 

During its Africa phase Israel dipped deep into South Africa's reserve 
of goodwill. A joint communique criticizing apartheid was issued in 1961 
by Ben Gurion and the president of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). 
That same year Israel voted to censure remarks made at the UN by South 
Africa's foreign minister. It aligned itself against the West on a General 
Assembly vote for sanctions that almost passed. These actions deeply 
offended the white regime — and alarmed the South African Jewish 
community which came under Afrikaner pressure to condemn the Israeli 
actions. (The ensuing backlash to this pressure was of utmost significance, 
as will be discussed below.) Even before Israel committed a still graver 
provocation, siding with African states on a 1962 UN vote to impose 

Israel and South Africa 


sanctions on South Africa — Israel, then led by Golda Meir, was hoping to 
win African support for a UN resolution calling for direct Arab-Israeli 
negotiations — the South African Treasury had refused to approve a routine 
transfer of Jewish donations to Israel. When Jewish officials appealed the 
denial, the minister of finance said the currency export privilege had been 
withdrawn because Israel had "slapped South Africa in the face and ganged 
up with her enemies."^' 

Leaders of Israel's Labor government argued that reasons of state, 
specifically the necessity of pleasing Israel's African allies, took precedence 
over the exigencies of the South African Jewish community.'" In 1963, 
Israel lowered the level of its diplomatic mission in South Africa, and in 
1 966 it voted at the UN to revoke South Africa's mandate over Namibia, 
the colony formerly known as Southwest Africa." 

Israel and South Africa Draw Together 

Although Israel would continue to step on Pretoria's toes in its pursuit 
of African governments— a 1971 Israeli attempt to make a $2,000 
contribution to the Organization of African Unity's (OAU) Liberation 
Committee triggered another South African cutoff of Jewish funds"— 
Israel's 1967 war delivered a telling blow to its relationships with African 
nations. Coming at a time of strengthened African- Arab links, the resulting 
Israeli occupation of Arab and African territory (i.e. Egypt's Sinai) 
brought about the beginning of a shift in African perceptions: Israel was no 
longer viewed as an embattled underdog, but a powerful aggressor." 

Israel's 1 967 war had the opposite effect on South Africa, eliciting its 
admiration. A team of South African military observers is reported to 
have flown to Israel "to study tactics and the use of weapons." Israel's war 
(which resulted in the occupation of substantial areas of Jordan and Egypt) 
would become one of two battles taught in South Africa's "maneuver 
schools."'* In October 1967, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Air Force, 
General Mordechai Hod, lectured the South African military on the 
conduct of the war.'^ 

The drawing away from Israel of independent African states provided 
South Africa with a political opportunity. Almost totally bereft of friends 
itself by the late 1 960s, South Africa demonstrated its interest in closer ties 
by coming quickly to Israel's aid. Currency-hoarding Pretoria permitted 
South African Jews to transfer immediately an extra $20.5 million to Israel. 
The white government itself sent replacement weapons and aircraft.'' After 


the Fr ench embargoed arms shipments to Israel, South Africa, which had 
also received a great part of its arsenal from France, "ran an emergency 
service, supplying Israel with just about all the components it wanted."" 
These gestures generated a response in Israel. In 1 968, Israeli politicos 
formed the Israel-South Africa Friendship League.'^ Menachem Begin was 
president of this organization when he became prime minister of Israel in 
1977." Simcha Erlich headed the League during the time he served as 
Israel's finance minister.*" In 1 969, former Prime Minister Ben Gurion paid 
a high profile visit to South Africa and met there with Prime Minister John 
Vorster.*' Accompanying Ben Gurion was Chaim Herzog, currently the 
president of Israel.*^ In 1972, South Africa opened a Consulate General in 

After the June 1967 war— four years after the UN's first embargo on 
arms sales to South Africa— Israel began to sell weapons to the white 
minority government. Israel was said to have offered South Africa both its 
Arava short-take-off-and-landing aircraft** (used by other customers for 
counterinsurgency warfare, see chapter on Guatemala) and plans for the 
Mirage III aircraft, stolen by Mossad in Switzerland.*^ James Adams in The 
Unnatural A lliance noted reports that the Arava had been tried in Namibia.*' 
Israel was also said to have offered the apartheid regime weapons captured 
during the 1967 fighting.*^ By 1971, South Africa was manufacturing the 
Uzi submachine gun under a license arranged through Belgium.*^ In 1 97 1 , 
it was reported that a Greek freighter had brought high explosives from 
Eilat to Durban.*' 

During this period Israel's relations with independent African nations 
continued to deteriorate. Finally, the October 1973 war hastened a mass 
rupture of diplomatic relations. Between September and November 1973, 
22 African governments severed ties with Israel, leaving only 4 indepen- 
dent African nations with diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv.™ (All four, 
Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, and Mauritius, also have relations with South 

During the 1973 war, South Africa again came to Israel's aid. Defense 
Minister (later State President) P.W. Botha said that practical ways would 
be found to manifest South Africa's moral support for Israel." It was 
reported that the South Africans' sympathy extended to Mirage jet fighters 
and that these were piloted by South Africans eager for combat experience. 
The Egyptians claimed that they had shot down a South African Mirage. " 
The war also drew 1,500 Jewish volunteers from the white-run state.^* 
Also, the Pretoria government permitted South African Jews to send over 
130 milUon to Israel. 

Israel and South Africa 27 

Israel responded with the appointment of an ambassador to Pretoria in 
June 1974— a move reciprocated by South Africa the following year." 

Starting shortly before Israel went to war in the fall of 1973, the 
frequency of visits back and forth between Israel and South Africa 
increased in status, as well as in number. Yitzhak Rabin, between stints as 
Israel's ambassador to the U.S. and prime minister, arrived on a fund- 
raising mission in 1 973 ; and Moshe Dayan was hosted by the South Africa 
Foundation in 1974." Other Israeli visitors to South Africa in 1973 and 
1974 included the former Israeli ambassador to Denmark, Israel's Deputy 
Minister for communications, and Israel's Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren, 
who met President J.J. Fouche, Defense Minister Botha and other military 
brass. South Africans travelling to Israel included the head of BOSS (the 
since disbanded Bureau of State Security), Hendrik van der Bergh, and the 
Mayor of Johannesburg and a team of 1 5 housing officials led by the 
director of the building branch of the South African Council for Scientific 
and Industrial Research.^' 

Far from being irrelevant, or, in another sense, comparable to counting 
dogs frequenting a favorite fire hydrant, this matter of visits for "pariah" 
countries is immensely important. Both the Israeli and the South African 
state-run media go on at great length about foreign visitors — especially 
ranking officials — or trips abroad by their own dignitaries, whose wel- 
comes are recounted in great detail. This we-are-not-alone syndrome also 
explains the frequent and almost always baseless predictions that this or that 
African nation is about to renew diplomatic ties with Israel. That the Israeli 
visits were more "diplomatic" is explained by the presence of the South 
African Jewish community and the greater degree of South African 
isolation. That the South African visits to Israel during this period appear 
to have been more "business-oriented" is readily explained by Israel's 
slightly stronger international standing and its concomitant lack of interest 
in parading South African political figures before its populace. 

Recalling Israel's sea change. South Africa's first ambassador to Israel 

The latent support for South Africa, which we knew existed but 
which had been difficult to quantify came to the surface. Why, it 
was asked, had Israel been supporting resolutions in the United 
Nations which were hurtful to South Africa, when South Africa 
now stood revealed as one of the few countries to stand up and 
be counted when Israel was in peril.'^^ 

A number of circumstances propelled the bonding process. The 
lessons of Israel's recent war took on new significance for South Africa as 


Portugal was forced to give up its African colonies and South Africa 
worried about a military threat from the newly independent Mozambique and 
Angola.'' Moreover, the Nonaligned Movement, then coming into its own 
as a force of the developing world, was bringing increasing pressure to bear 
on South Africa. 

Because of its intransigent refusal to negotiate a withdrawal from the 
territories it had occupied since 1967 and the brutality of its occupation of 
them, Israel was also the object of intense international criticism. In 
November 1975, the United Nations General assembly passed Resolution 
3379 declaring Zionism a form of "racism and racial discrimination." The 
resolution also condemned "the unholy alliance between South African 
racism and Zionism."*" Also in 1 974 the UN began steps that would result 
in the conferral of observer status on the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

In late 1974, Israel's resistance to the U.S. peacemaking efforts led the 
Ford Administration to declare an aid moratorium to all countries in the 
Middle East while Washington "reassessed" its policy in the region. The 
anxiety this caused Tel Aviv was considerable. (A letter signed by 76 
Senators that urged continued U.S. support for Israel "was a blunt 
reminder to the President... [that] should cause [him] to think twice before 
making any rash move on the Middle Eastern scene,"" reflected the level of 
Israel's consternation at the time.) A scandal breaking in 1975 over CIA 
"dirty tricks" in Angola led Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to suggest 
to Israel that it help South Africa with its invasion of Angola." Israel 
complied with Kissinger's request by sending counterinsurgency weapons 
and instructors. In July 1975, a former Israeli intelligence chief said that 
senior Israeli military officers were giving South African troops counter- 
insurgency training.*' The Economist said Israel had stopped short of 
sending the troops which Kissinger had wanted, but that the Israelis took 
his suggestion as a green light for developing a closer relationship with 
South Africa.*'' 

Conspiracy Opens Up a Whole New Phase of Relations 

In June 1975, Connie Mulder — his star was then rising and, as heir 
apparent to the prime minister, he had been made Information and Interior 
Minister — and Information Secretary Eschel Rhoodie made a secret trip to 
Israel. Their meetings with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Defense 
Minister Shimon Peres, and six other members of the Israeli cabinet was 

Israel and South Africa 29 

arranged by Oscar Hurwitz , a Jewish South African and an instrumental 
figure in the plot that would become known as the "Muldergate" scandal.*' 
Les de Villiers, the South African Deputy Information Minister who also 
attended that meeting, asked the Israelis to recommend a "lobbyist." The 
name of New York public relations man Sydney Baron was mentioned and 
the South Africans retained him.** Baron, who had past connections to 
New York political boss Carmine deSapio, would funnel $200,000 of 
South African money into the 1976 U.S. senatorial race of Republican S.I. 
Hayakawa in a successful attempt to defeat South Africa's nemesis, 
California Senator John Tunney, a Democrat. In 1 978, Baron would repeat 
the process with a $250,000 South African donation to Iowa Republican 
Roger Jepson in his successful challenge to Democratic Senator Dick Clark 
(the author of the Clark Amendment, forbidding CIA involvement in 

These deals were only a fraction of the influence-buying of the secret 
"information project" set up by the South Africans in the early 1970s. 
Eschel Rhoodie and Connie Mulder spent at least $100 million in at least 
half a dozen countries— buying newspapers, setting up front organizations, 
running junkets for politicians or buying them outright— all in a fruitless 
attempt to improve South Africa's image. The Mulder gang was ultimately 
charged with flagrant "financial irregularities" and forced out of office in a 
1978 power play that won P.W. Botha the right to succeed the retiring 
Premier John Vorster.*^ 

In the 1975 meetings in Israel, the Labor government under Yitzhak 
Rabin agreed to play a consultative role in the Mulder- Rhoodie disinforma- 
tion offensive.*' (They also apparently agreed to let the South Africans 
operate Project David in Israel, which funded propaganda and brought 
South African sports teams to Israel.'") They recruited Arnon Milchan , an 
Israeli arms dealer— he would also be used to funnel" weapons to South 
Africa— to launder the funds. Milchan has admitted that he agreed to play 
this role and said that on one occasion he put 66,000 pounds sterling into a 
Swiss bank; the money was then withdrawn and used to purchase the 
London-based magazine West Africa, later sold.''' 

In March 1 976, then Defense Minister Shimon Peres made a secret visit 
to South Africa and invited the South African prime minister to visit Israel. 
John Vorster arrived in Israel the following month, eager for his first 
official visit to a democratic state. 

The visit by John Vorster was certain to be provocative, but the 
isolated Israelis must have felt they had very little to lose, and, in South 
Africa, with its gold and minerals and its complement of transnational 
corporations, they must have seen a possible substitute for the U.S. 

Arms Industry 

The 1976 Accords 

Israel received Vorster warmly, with a red carpet running to the door 
of his plane. At the other end Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin headed 
the pack of dignitaries waiting to greet him. Vorster met with Foreign 
Minister Allon, with President Ephraim Katzir, and numerous other Israeli 
leaders. Half the cabinet turned out to a farewell banquet for Vorster hosted 
by Rabin,' this despite a formal communication from the Netherlands 
warning that the visit would make it more difficult for "Israel's friends 
abroad to persuade the world that there is no connection between Zionism 
and racism."^ Vorster, who had been jailed for 20 months during World 
War II by the British for his pro-Nazi activities and had never repudiated 
his Nazism,^ had last been made welcome in Paraguay.* 

At the state banquet Prime Minister Rabin turned to his South African 
counterpart and said, 

We here follow with sympathy your own historic efforts to 
achieve detente on your continent, to build bridges for a secure 
and better future, to create coexistence that will guarantee a 
prosperous atmosphere of cooperation for all the African 
peoples, without outside interference and threat.^ 

When the head of the apartheid regime was not being received or 
visiting religious sites or climbing to the Masada fortress where Jewish 
rebels made a last stand against the Romans in the first century, or. 



incongruously, laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, 
Vorster spent his four days in Israel touring military installations, 
including the state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries (lAI).* 

These visits gave rise to reports that the South Africans were shopping 
for Israeli arms. Both Israeli and South African officials denied that this was 
the case.' Yet obviously, at least from the Israeli standpoint, there was more 
to receiving Vorster than a provocative and defiant political statement. It is 
generally accepted that among the comprehensive set of bilateral agree- 
ments announced as having been concluded during Vorster's trip to 
Israel — covering commercial, trade, fiscal, and "cooperative" arrange- 
ments^ — were secret pacts covering arms sales and nuclear cooperation.' 
All of the agreements, the departing Vorster told reporters, would be 
overseen by a joint cabinet-level committee which would meet annually to 
review and promote Israeli-South African economic relations. Vorster also 
spoke of a "steering group" to coordinate the exchange of information and 
encourage the "development of trade, scientific and industrial cooperation 
and joint projects using South African raw material and Israeli man- 

What Israel and South Africa had accomplished was a strategic 
meshing of strengths and weaknesses: South African capital and raw 
materials to Israel, counterpoised against the transfer of Israeli weapons and 
advanced technology to South Africa." The 1976 agreements have been 
periodically renewed. As the years progressed the strength generated by 
Israeli-South African cooperation would be turned outward to sanctions- 
busting, allowing South Africa to fend off internal and external pressure for 

Israel has also reaped benefits from the relationship — in the tangible 
sense for the development of its arms industry, and in a not altogether 
ephemeral sense, politically: as long as South Africa remains the focal point 
of international outrage, Israel escapes the brunt of that attention; 
moreover, as long as it can be shown that sanctions are ineffective against 
South Africa, there is less chance they will be imposed on Israel. 

Nuclear Apprentice 

There are few areas where the respective needs and advantages of 
Israel and South Africa dovetailed so perfectly as in the field of nuclear 

Israel and South Africa 33 

"The most powerful reason for Israeli willingness to bear the 
undesirable consequences of expanded and more open trade with South 
Africa may be her desire to acquire material necessary to manufacture 
nuclear weapons," wrote a military analyst in 1980.'^ To that must be 
added Israel's great desire to test the nuclear weapons it already had, and the 
attractions of South Africa's vast territory and proximity to even vaster 
uninhabited spaces— the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 

Then at the point in its nuclear development where it was fashioning 
sophisticated bombs (devices which use less nuclear material but have 
infinitely greater explosive force than the "primitive" bomb dropped by 
the U.S. on Hiroshima), Israel would find it particularly helpful to observe 
the performance, explosive force and fallout of a detonated weapon.'' 

Since 1 984, Israel had been operating a plutonium extraction plant in a 
secret underground bunker at Dimona in the Negev Desert. Built by the 
French in the late 1950s, the Dimona plant also included facilities for 
manufacturing atomic bomb components.'^ At the time of the 1976 
accords, Israel was preparing to build an adjoining plant for the extraction 
of lithium 6, tritium and deuterium, materials required for sophisticated 
thermonuclear weapons.'^ 

Israel's reasons for devoting what had to have been a significant 
portion of its scant resources to such an ambitious nuclear weapons 
program— nuclear experts have recently ranked it as the world's sixth 
nuclear power, after the U.S., the USSR, Britain, France and China'*— 
have been variously offered as the desire to develop a credible deterrent to 
attack by its neighbors and the desire to substitute that deterrent for at least 
part of the costly conventional arsenal that Israel, with one of the world's 
most powerful military forces, maintains, and also (with much less 
frequency) as an "umbrella" over a partial withdrawal from the occupied 

However, these are by way of superficial rationales. The decision to 
develop nuclear weapons was taken in the earliest days of the state and has 
been doggedly pursued for over a quarter of a century.'^ Israel's determina- 
tion suggests that it has always been directed toward establishing, perhaps 
expanding, its borders by force and has always believed that its existence 
can only be guaranteed by maintaining the entire Middle Eastern region in a 
state of fearsome disequilibrium. 

There is no consolation to be found in a search for an element of 
responsibility in the Israeli nuclear program. The Middle East as tinderbox 
has become a cliche, while Israel's own track record of flagrant aggres- 
sion—since 1981 Israel has bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor, invaded 
Lebanon, bombed Tunisia, and tried to persuade India to conduct a joint 


raid on Pakistan's nuclear research facility"— does not recommend Tel 
Aviv as a mature guardian of the ultimate weapon. Moreover, it is quue 
possible that Israel has accumulated an estimated 100-200 warheads for 
political purposes. Dr. Francis Perrin, the head of the French nuclear 
program from 1951-1970, during which time France collaborated with 
Israel on building an atom bomb and built the Dimona reactor/ plutonium 
plant, recently explained: 

We thought the Israeli bomb was aimed against the Americans, 
not to launch it against America but to say "if you don't want to 
help us in a critical situation we will require you to help us, 
otherwise we will use our nuclear bombs. "^^ 

South Africa is not thought to have been as highly motivated as Israel 
to acquire nuclear weapons capability. Given its— reasonable— expectation 
of a domestic uprising perhaps aided from neighboring states. South 
Africa's first priorities were Israeli weapons and Israeli technological input 
for its conventional weapons industry. Yet South Africa is magnificently 
endowed with uranium and during the 1970s was striving to manufacture 
enriched uranium for export. To the South Africans a nuclear bomb was 
something of a bonus.^' 

They are thought to have achieved the requisite techniques in 1980 
and since then have incorporated nuclear weaponry into their bluster, and 
perhaps into their military doctrine. In 1 977, Information Minister Connie 
Mulder said, "If we are attacked, no rules apply at all if it comes to a 
question of our existence. We will use all means at our disposal whatever 
they may be."^^ In 1979, Prime Minister P.W. Botha said, "we have 
military weapons they do not know about."^^ In 1985, the South Africans 
let it be known that they were capable of building two bombs a year." 

South Africa's nuclear position roughly parallels Israel's. There is the 
deterrent factor against a threat from the outside, which has become 
somewhat more credible than Israel's with talk among members of the 
OAU of establishing a pan- African force to aid the liberation struggle in 
South Africa;^^ this is a somewhat sad turn of events for an organization 
which made its first demand that Africa be a nuclear weapons-free zone m 
1963.2* There is the notion of regional dominance, to which Nigeria has 
already begun to react by broaching for consideration the idea that it, or 
Africa, must develop a nuclear counterdeterrent.^' There is South Africa's 
history of brazen attacks on its neighbors. There is the possibility that "by 
threatening use of the bomb, Pretoria could effectively block international 
efforts to impose sanctions on it for its racist policies. "^^ 

There is also the distinct possibility that the white minority govern- 
ment has developed detailed plans to use neutron-type bombs (low-yield 

Israel and South Africa 35 

^' devices that kill people without widespread devastation of property) on the 
domestic black majority. A set of maps in the possession of the African 
National Congress ( ANC) appears to show population concentrations and 
fallout radii.2' 

In conjunction with its nuclear weapon "option," the Pretoria regime 
is apparently aiming to enrich uranium for export at its Palindaba plant, due 
to start operation in 1 987. Although the South Africans have refused to put 
the plant under international safeguards,'" it might well be that they cherish 
hopes of establishing lines of communication with potential Western 
customers through sales of uranium for nuclear power plants. '' 

During the 1 950s, when "peaceful" atomic energy was in vogue, Israel 
I and South Africa had both participated in U.S. atomic energy programs. 
South Africa has had help from Britain, West Germany and France, as well 
as the U.S. Over the years, though, it has become more and more difficult 
for both Pretoria and Tel Aviv to obtain nuclear technology because both 
refuse to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and each has refused to 
open all its nuclear facilities to inspection. 

In 1 965, after South Africa brought its Safari I safeguarded reactor on 
line, Israeli scientists began advising South Africa on their Safari 2 research 
reactor. '2 In 1968, Prof. Ernst Bergmann, the "father" of Israel's nuclear 
program, went to South Africa and spoke strongly in favor of bilateral 
cooperation on the development of nuclear technolgy.^' 

According to the authors of a novelized treatment of Israel's nuclear 
program — barred from publication by the Israeli censor — as early as 1 966, 
South Africa had invited Israel to use its land or ocean space for a nuclear 
i\ weapons test. Led at that time by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, Israel 
declined the invitation. However, according to the Israeli authors, whose 
sources included Shimon Peres, an enthusiastic intimate of the Israeli 
nuclear program, and Knesset Member Eliyah Speizer, during his April 
1976 visit to Israel Premier Vorster again extended the invitation to Israel 
to conduct a nuclear test. 

It is commonly held that Israel wanted a test venue far from the Middle 
East in order to uphold its longtime position that it would not be the first to 
introduce nuclear weapons into the region.'* This "position," hinging on 
some arcane reading of the word "introduce," is as meaningless as the 
endlessly heard term "peace process." 

The following year, a Soviet satellite picked up unmistakable signs of 
preparation for a nuclear test in the Kalahari Desert. Fearing that such a test 
"might trigger an ominous escalation of the nuclear arms race," the U.S., 
Britain, France and West Germany joined the USSR in pressuring South 
Africa to abort the test.'^ As to the bomb that was to be tested, " 'I know 


some intelligence people who are convinced with damn near certainty that 
it was an Israeli nuclear device,' said a high-ranking Washington official."'* 

At three o'clock in the morning on September 22, 1979, Israel and 
South Africa conducted a nuclear weapons test where the South Atlantic 
and Indian Oceans merge." 

A newly recalibrated U.S. Vela intelligence satellite'^ recorded the 
characteristic double flash of light. It was a small blast, designed to leave 
very little evidence." The CIA told the National Security Council that a 
two- or three-kiloton bomb had been exploded in "a joint South African- 
Israeli test."*" A Navy official revealed that U.S. spy planes over the test 
area had been waved away by South African Navy ships and forced to land 
secredy in Australia.*' The CIA knew (and later told Congress) that South 
African ships were conducting secret maneuvers at the exact site of the 
test.*2 The South African military attache in Washington made the first ever 
request to the U.S. National Technical Information Service for a computer 
search on detection of nuclear explosions and orbits of the Vela satellite." 

Almost immediately the Carter Administration convened a special 
panel to conduct an investigation of the incident. The panel heard reports 
from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, the Defense Intelligence 
Agency, and the CIA; and representatives of the Los Alamos National 
Laboratory, the Department of Energy and the State Department presented 
evidence to the panel supporting the occurrence of a nuclear explosion. 
Their findings were summarily dismissed by the Carter White House, 
which after a delay of seven months declared: 

Although we cannot rule out the possibility that this [Vela] 
signal was of nuclear origin, the panel considers it more likely 
that the signal was one of the zoo events [reception of signals of 
unknown origin under anomalous circumstances], possibly a 
consequence of the impact of a small meteroid on the satellite." 

Moreover, as new information became available, it was simply 
ignored. In one critical instance, evidence of radiation observed in the 
thyroid glands of Australian sheep was discounted. The initial lack of this 
"smoking gun," traces of radiation, suggested to a Los Alamos scientist 
that the low-yield weapon tested had been a neutron bomb. However, the 
Carter panel had used the absence of radiation as a prime excuse in its 

Many who had been involved with the investigation were aghast and 
wondered why the Carter White House was "equivocating."*' Some 
within the government said that the Carter Administration was hiding 
behind the "zoo" theory to avoid dealing with the political headaches that 

Israel and South Africa 37 

would accompany acknowledgement of the test. An affirmative report 
might have affected the ongoing negotiations over the creation of 
Zimbabwe in which South African cooperation was needed and upset the 
just negotiated Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt. Carter also 
had reason to fear "complications in garnering Jewish votes during the 
upcoming Democratic Party primary campaign against Sen. Edward 

But beyond that, as a State Department official explained, coming 
clean on the test "would be a major turning point in our relations with 
South Africa and Israel if we determined conclusively that either had tested 
a nuclear bomb. It makes me terribly nervous just to think about it."*^ Of 
course by deciding to ignore reality the Carter administration — and following 
in its footsteps, the Reagan Administration, which went on record May 2 1 , 
1985 as upholding the Carter "verdict"*' — destroyed the already tattered 
credibility of the nonproliferation posture of the U.S. There was no 
challenge forthcoming from Congress. Quite the contrary: in 1981 
Representatives Stephen Solarz and Jonathan Bingham withdrew legisla- 
tion they had introduced calling for a cutoff of U.S. aid to nations 
manufacturing nuclear weapons after they learned from the State Depart- 
ment "that such a requirement might well trigger a finding by the 
Administration that Israel has manufactured a bomb."^" The U.S. govern- 
ment turned its back on the potential victims of Israeli and South African 
nuclear aggression, and stuck its head in the sand like an ostrich. 

Five years later, the Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund in 
cooperation with Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), the Congressional 
Black Caucus Foundation and the World Campaign Against Military and 
Nuclear Collaboration with South Africa issued a report on the 1979 
nuclear weapons test. Based on documents obtained from the government 
under the Freedom of Information Act, the report detailed scientific 
evidence not taken into account by the Carter panel. It demonstrated 
conclusively that a cover-up had been perpetrated by the Carter Adminis- 
tration. Written by Howard University Professor Ronald Walters, the 
report warned that the cover-up, "coupled with the Reagan Administra- 
tion's subsequent allowance of an increase in nuclear aid to South Africa has 
serious implications for international peace and security."^' 

The sponsors of the report urged that the investigation be reopened 
under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the National 
Academy of Engineers, and also called for a Congressional investigation 
and "the release to the public of all pertinent information."" 

Although it came at a time of heightened anti-apartheid activity, the 
report was largely ignored. Small, dutiful articles about a Conyers press 


conference appeared but generated none of the official (or activist) response 
that might have iiept the issue alive. 

In July 1985, during debate on the 1986-87 Foreign Aid Authoriza- 
tion bill, Rep. Conyers offered an amendment stipulating that "United 
States foreign assistance may not be provided to any country having a 
nuclear relationship with South Africa." Howard Wolpe, Chair of the 
House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa persuaded Conyers to 
withdraw the amendment, promising instead that upcoming hearings on 
nuclear proliferation would consider the implications of South Africa's 
nuclear capabihty.^' As 1985 wore into 1986, and while Congress spent 
itself in a literal orgy of anti-apartheid legislation, the promised hearing was 
never scheduled. 

Congress may succeed in shelving the problem of the 1979 test for 
another few years, but despite the refusal of the U.S. political monkeys to 
see, nuclear collaboration between Tel Aviv and Pretoria continues. A 
second test in December 1980 was reported in the same area, with another 
CIA sighting of South African ships nearby. A British authority on nuclear 
weapons. Dr. David Baker, said that the weapon fired in this test was 
probably a 1 55 mm nuclear shell fired from a special howitzer which the 
Israelis had helped the South Africans acquire^^ (see below). 

In 1 98 1 , it was reported that South Africa had hired Israeli consultants 
"to advise on the safety aspects of its first two commercial reactors." As 
those reactors were being built by the French company Framatome, some 
thought it odd that Israeli, rather than French, scientists would be hired. 
The Israeli advice, which according to intelligence officials "could assist the 
Government there to acquire the technological expertise to build nuclear 
weapons," came in exchange for uranium.^'^ Although South Africa has its 
Koeberg commercial reactor under international safeguards, these are lax, 
"making diversion of materials for nuclear weapons possible if a govern- 
ment so chooses."^' 

In 1 986, Mordechai Vanunu, a technician who had worked nine years 
at the Dimona installation, told reporters that South African scientists and 
metallurgists had regularly worked at Dimona. 

In 1985, the BBC reported that Israel and South Africa had tested an 
Israeli-made Jericho II (nuclear-capable) missile in South Africa.^' 

Late in 1986 South African scientists working on remote Marion 
Island, halfway between Antarctica and the southern coast of South Africa, 
disregarded Pretoria's orders to remain silent and reported that Israeli and 
South African military officers had been visiting the island. Experts said 
that the two nations were undoubtedly in the process of developing a 
nuclear missile-testing range in conjunction with a $6 million mile-long 


Israel and South Africa 39 

airstrip South Africa was planning to build on the island and that this 
"important military asset" could also be used as a base for anti-submarine 
warfare. The scientists said they had gone public out of fear that their 
meteorological station would be used to cover such activities. They 
discounted South African excuses that the airstrip would be useful for 
resupply, medical evacuation and rescue activities. The scientists said there 
was little shipping, fishing or aviation in the area."" 

The environmental organization Greenpeace, at the time setting up a 
research station to monitor the large Antarctic wildlife population, issued a 
statement opposing the airstrip. A Greenpeace spokeswoman at the 
organization's Washington office said the organization was also opposed to 
use of the island for military purposes by Israel and South Africa. (The 
Greenpeace statement notes that Marion Island is near the site of their 1 979 
nuclear test). If work was begun on the runway, she said, "it will definitely 
engender a response.""' 

Collaboration on Weapons 

Although the 1976 Vorster agreements marked the beginning of a 
large and systematic commerce in arms, it by no means launched the 
sanctions-busting commerce in weapons between Tel Aviv and Pretoria. 
Israel had already sold South Africa an assortment of military gear, and, by 
one account, had imported Chieftain-type tanks from South Africa.^ By 
1971, South Africa was building the Uzi submachine gun under license." In 
fact, shortly before the signing of those agreements, the Israelis, acting in 
concert with "retired" CIA agents and cooperative European companies, 
played an important role in an elaborate deception that resulted in the 
delivery of one of the most sophisticated weapons ever to reach South 
Africa. This was the Space Research Corporation (SRC) 155 mm 
howitzer, acknowledged at the time to be the most advanced long-range 
artillery piece in the world. Originally developed by Canadian- American 
Gerald Bull to launch satellites, the SRC howitzer is also capable of firing 
miniaturized nuclear shells. 

After failing to secure production rights to Bull's invention for 
themselves (and for resale to South Africa), Israel served as the official "end 
user" on U.S. papers accompanying conventional 1 55 mm shells through 
their production process in the U.S. and Canada." According to Britain's 
Independent Television, the Israeli Cabinet discussed the deal." 


In a welter of phony addressees and illicit shipments, the conspirators 
also accomplished the transfer to South Africa of the SRC howitzer 
blueprints and the machine tools necessary for its production. South Africa 
now produces and markets the howitzer as the G5 and G6; it is this artillery 
piece with its 2 50 mile range"*' that was apparently used in the 1 980 nuclear 
test mentioned above.*' 

As in the SRC case, as Western nations came under pressure to abide 
by the UN arms embargo of 1963 — and the subsequent United Nations 
Mandatory Arms Embargo of 1977 — Israel began to act as a funnel for 
shipments from other Western countries. One notorious case involved the 
shipment of 1 1 U.S.-made Bell helicopters from Haifa to South Africa (and 
thence to Rhodesia) using Singapore as a phony destination.'^ Another 
concerned the shipment from Italy of Oto Melara naval cannon through 
Israel to South Africa. South Africa installed the guns on Reshef patrol 
boats, which by then it was making under Israeli license (see below)." In 
1983, authorities in Copenhagen stopped a shipment of 400 pistols for 
South Africa. The pistols were then taken to Vienna — Austrian law 
permits export to South Africa of "sports and civilian weapons" — and from 
there were to "be dispatched to South Africa via Israel."'" 

Although it is difficult to pinpoint precisely the date of sale of Israeli 
weapons to South Africa, following the Vorster agreements Israeli 
military sales to South Africa increased dramatically. Israeli equipment 
deployed in South Africa includes mortars," electronic surveillance 
equipment, radar stations, anti-guerrilla alarm systems and night vision 
devices,'^ high technology equipment for a squadron of South African 
helicopters," "a large number of Soviet-made artillery pieces"'* and eight 
Reshef long-range missile boats, two of which were supplied with 
helicopter decks and sophisticated electronic gear.'^ South African navy 
personnel, about 50 by one account, were brought to Israel to train on the 

South Africa also bought six Dabur patrol boats (for $300,000 each) 
and equipped them (and its own German-built corvettes) with Gabriel 
surface-to-surface missiles for the Israeli craft." South Africa is also 
thought to have bought Israeli Shafrir (heat-seeking) missiles some time 
around 1978.'^ 

It is equally difficult to try to pinpoint the amount of money involved 
in these transactions. A 1976 assessment by the London International 
Institute for Strategic Studies said that Israel and France were South 
Africa's "primary suppliers."" A 1 977 report said Israel had received $100 
million worth of orders from South Africa that year.^" More recent reports 
have varied between $50 million and $800 million annually.^' 

Israel and South Africa 41 

Nonetheless, with the official curtailment of British and French 
weapons transfers to the white government, Israel became a lifeline for the 
apartheid regime— and apartheid became a gold mine for Israel. In its 1 98 1 
Yearbook, the respected Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 
(SIPRI) lists South Africa as the major customer for Israeli arms, taking 3 5 
percent of the total prior to 1980.^^ 

After the well documented sales of the 1970s, and especially with the 
imposition of the UN's 1977 mandatory arms embargo, secrecy on 
arms shipments remained nearly absolute until 1986-87 when a great deal 
became known (see below). Although the statistics suggest the sale of 
numerous weapons systems in great quantity, very little is known about 
what has actually changed hands. This is because of the overarching 
secrecy observed by all facets of the Israeli arms industry^' and the obvious 
need of the South Africans to avoid revealing the source of their imported 
arms— every so often they can't resist a gleeful reference to "friendly 
countries" — and thus drying it up. 

Despite this decade of secrecy, a few sales have become known. The 
South Africans have been steady purchasers of Israeli electronic "security" 
fencing. This is the early warning barrier Israel has strung around its own 
borders. Microwave devices and infra-red devices alert soldiers to those 
intruders who are not snared by the anti-personnel mines which are part of 
the package.8* The South Africans call the system a "ring of steel" and have 
said that other border areas near Mozambique and Angola are "riddled 
with anti-personnel mines manufactured in Israel. "^^ 

Although the Israelis have variously insisted that they scrupulously 
respect the 1 977 UN embargo, or that their arms sales to South Africa do 
not include weaponry that could be used for internal repression, a 1986 
report on National Public Radio proves them wrong on both counts. 
Listeners to "Morning Edition" on January 13 heard a tape of Israeli 
military industries salesmen making a sales pitch to two delegations of 
South African "security men." Tear gas and smoke gas grenades were 
being demonstrated. During its almost perpetual state of emergency. South 
Africa has used a great deal of tear gas.^* 

During the broadcast an Israeli professor told "Morning Edition" that 
none of South Africa's other trading partners "is quite as intimately 
involved in security matters, in the preservation of apartheid through 
force," as Israel is.*' 

Israel has sold South Africa one or more "drones" (remotely piloted 
spy planes). In 1983, one of these camera-laden aircraft shot down over 
Maputo, Mozambique still bore its lAI factory markings.** 


Indications of Magnitude 

Two news leaks about arms shipments in 1986 (three, counting the 
Cheetah — see Introduction and below) might well be indicative of what has 
been passing between Israel and South Africa on a regular basis. One arms 
shipment included 50 Gazelle helicopters, armored cars, cannons, mortars, 
20,000 automatic rifles and 1 2,000 machine guns purchased from Egypt on 
Israel's behalf by Adnan Khasogghi, the infamous international arms 
dealer, after Egypt rebuffed a direct Israeli attempt to purchase them. They 
were shipped to Israel and from there immediately sent to South Africa. 
(Another ten hehcopters from Zaire were also included in this shipment.^') 
While the South Africans are probably eager for the helicopters it is likely 
that the small arms will be passed along to one of the mercenary forces, 
Unita, or the "Mozambican National Resistance," attacking the Frontline 

Late in the year, converted Boeing 707 aircraft appeared in South 
Africa.'" There were four to six in all, and Israel had outfitted them as dual 
in-flight refueling platforms and flying electronic warfare stations." Far 
beyond anything available to any other African government, these aircraft 
gave South Africa command of the entire continent.'^ 

There is no way of gauging the frequency and magnitude of similar 
sales which escape detection. The transfer of ready-to-use weaponry, 
however, is overshadowed by other aspects of Israeli military collaboration 
with South Africa which have been instrumental in South Africa's 
achieving a high degree of immunity from the effects of international 
sanctions, in part through an extensive weapons industry of its own.'' 

The South African publication Intercomir stated, "thanks to the 
friendship which binds us to Israel. ..we have succeeded in creating a 
nucleus of modern ships based on fast-attack and missile craft derived from 
the Israeli Reshef."'* This appreciation was not merely for Israeli 
willingness to sell missile boats; nor was it simply to buy and sell weapons 
outright that Israel and South Africa hammered out their 1 976 agreements. 
Instead, the agreements 

centered on South Africa's willingness to finance some of 
Israel's costlier military projects. Israel was to reciprocate by 
supplying weapon systems and training... Israel was asked to fill 
[South Africa's] needs for naval, armored, electronic and 
counterinsurgency equipment.'^ 

In the case of the Reshef patrol boats, after selling the first three 
outright and training South African officers, the Israelis licensed the South 

Israel and South Africa 43 

Africans to produce nine.'* The South Africans call their Reshef the 
Minister, or Minister of Defense (MOD). Israel also licensed South Africa 
to produce the 65-foot Dabur patrol boat.''' 

In addition to the famous Uzi submachine gun, the apartheid 
government produces the Israeli Galil assault rifle under license as the 

Both the Dabur and the Reshef carry Gabriel missiles, the Israeli-made 
equivalent of the French Exocet. South Africa now produces these under 
license, calling them the Scorpion." It was with a Scorpion that the South 
Africans sank a Cuban food ship during a June 1986 attack on the Angolan 
port of Namibe. '00 These licensing agreements include the future transfer of 
any Israeli modifications of the systems."" 

There have been persistent reports of other licensing arrangements 
between Tel Aviv and Pretoria, including submarines and a new Israeli 
guided missile patrol boat, but none have been definitively confirmed. 
Reports of collaboration on the missile boat go back to 1977, when it was 
described as "a miniature aircraft carrier.""'^ James Adams calls this the Q9 
corvette. >»3 A more recent report says South Africa is "considering buying 
several new corvettes from Israel."'"^ 

A four- way deal to construct submarines seems in the making. South 
Africa is planning to build submarines at its own yards in cooperation with 
Chile. Meanwhile, Israel has been negotiating with Washington over a 
submarine to be built jointly by Israel and West Germany'"' while a West 
German state-owned shipyard has sold blueprints for submarines to South 
Africa (resulting in a fairly severe scandal in Bonn, when it was determined 
that Chancellor Kohl and other top officials discussed the sale). '"' If there is 
any substance to the reports of an Israeli-South African submarine project, 
then in all probability the ship will be a three-way project including Israel, 
South Africa and Chile. (Israel is performing the same Mirage update for 
Chile that resulted in the South African Cheetah.'"^) Israel's submarine 
project is being financed by its U.S. military aid.'"' South Africa could be a 
direct recipient of the benefits of U.S. military assistance to Israel. It is a 
pattern that marks other purported licensing deals as well. 

There have been frequent reports that South Africa is a silent partner in 
the next generation Israeli fighter, the Lavi. The Israelis embarked on this 
ambitious project in 1 977, hoping to advance their own technological base 
a giant step with copious helpings of the latest U.S. technology."" Israel 
also wanted to produce an aircraft without any U.S. parts, which would 
make the export of the Lavi not subject to a veto by Washington.'" 

As the evolving design incorporated features of a vastly more 
sophisticated aircraft, Israeli leaders sought and won U.S. financing for 


rising costs of the Lavi's development. By the end of 1986, Congress had 
earmarked 11.3 billion of Israel's U.S. military assistance for the Lavi.''^ 
Furthermore, Congress allocated $700 million of that sum to be spent in 
Israel on the Lavi's development.'" 

As early as 1977, it was reported that Israel was helping South Africa 
develop a fighter plane within the framework established in 1976: South 
African financing and Israeli technological input."* A top secret trip by 
Israeli Defense Minister Ezer Weizman to South Africa in March 1 980"^ is 
thought to have been "to discuss, among other things, the joint Lavi fighter 
project.""* Weizmann definitely reached agreement with the South 
Africans over financing the development of the avionics— the computerized 
flight systems— for the Kfir aircraft, which the South Africans later 
obtained for their Cheetah."' 

An I AI marketing document in the early years of this decade spoke of 
an outright sale of the Lavi to South Africa. It projected selling 407 Lavi 
aircraft to South Africa, Chile, Taiwan and Argentina. "^ In 1984 it was 
reported that "South Africa is known to be prepared to invest in 

An objective analysis of the Lavi's current status would appear to rule 
out the possibility that South Africa still hopes to be cut in on the deal. As 
the project and the Israeli economy ran into trouble in the mid- 1 980s, Israel 
was forced to contract an increasing amount of the work on the Lavi to U.S. 
firms,'2° and thus the amount of leverage the U.S. has over any potential 
export deals has risen. The Lavi's avionics have been developed by Israel, 
and hence are not subject to a U.S. export veto.'^' At one point, the Israelis 
sought a U.S. partner for the Lavi.'" The Bet Shemesh engine plant, which 
was to co-produce the first batch of Pratt and Whitney engines for the Lavi, 
went into receivership, presumably eliminating the possibility that Israel 
could pass along the engine for the Lavi to South Africa. Yet the situation 
surrounding the transfer of Kfir technology to South Africa to produce the 
Cheetah (see Introduction) may be instructive. It had long been suspected 
that Israel was about to let South Africa build the Kfir under license (or sell 
the aircraft outright to the white regime).'" Israel eventually passed along 
pieces of Kfir technology and also gave South Africa assistance in 
producing the engine. It is not out of the question that South Africa would 
receive plans for building the Lavi power plant; nor is it out of the question 
that another country might be drawn into the scheme, increasing the 
opportunities for legerdemain. 

Minister Without Portfolio Moshe Arens— as Defense Minister, head 
of lAI, and Ambassador to the U.S., Arens made the Lavi his personal 
"obsession'''^* — recently went to Japan and proposed that Israel share its 

Israel and South Africa 45 

Lavi technology with Tokyo, which is contemplating co-producing a 
fighter plane with the U.S.'" Arens has called the Lavi "the most potent 
new jet fighter in the Western world. "'^^ 

While these scenarios of the Lavi's future are speculative, they are 
nonetheless germane. For all the |l-plus billion it has designated for the 
Lavi— "with such alacrity that it initially provided $ 1 50 million more than 
Israel could spend"'^' — Congress has ignored a number of problems 
associated with the plane, as well as the reports of South African 
collaboration. It has not dealt with the prospects of the Lavi as an export, 
even though it had been pointed out repeatedly that the Lavi would 
compete with the U.S. -built Northrop F-20 Tigershark. The F-20, which 
had no federal funds for its development, was abandoned in November 
1986 after failing to find U.S. or foreign buyers. '^^ 

The Israelis have assured Washington "categorically" that they were 
not developing the Lavi for export, but some U.S. officials remain 
skeptical. '2' 

Pentagon efforts to persuade Israel to scrap the Lavi project because its 
rising costs would impair other Israeli military programs — the Pentagon 
said the finished aircraft would cost $22 million per plane, the Israelis 
claimed it would be $15 million"" — were ignored by Congress. Instead, 
eight U.S. Representatives wrote a letter to the Departments of State and 
Defense and to the White House urging that the next installment of $70 
million for the Lavi be released."' 

In an editorial calling into question the fiscal soundness of the Lavi 
project, the Oakland Tribune also suggested: "...If Congress does extend 
further aid, it should insist on guarantees that none of the technology will 
leak out to South Africa. ""^ 

In the face of general knowledge on the hill of Israeli-South African 
military cooperation, shouldn't Congress' lack of interest in possible South 
African access to the Lavi be interpreted by Israel as "a wink and a nod"? 

In 1979, the U.S. allowed Israel to use $ 1 07 million of its military aid to 
develop its main battle tank, the Chariot, or Merkava, in Israel. (This 
precedent, spending foreign aid outside the U.S., would later be used to 
justify the far larger sums the U.S. permitted Israel to convert to its local 
currency for the Lavi.'") 

Meanwhile, South Africa's help was enlisted in the production of the 
armor plating for the tank. Israel obtained rare steel alloys from South 
Africa, and also — in a rare turnaround— South Africa's advanced steel 
manufacturing technology. In return Israel supplied the formula for 
fabricating the plating and refitted all of South Africa's tanks and armoured 
vehicles."* The armor is said to be the hardest in the world. The production 
was handled by Iskoor,'" a joindy owned steel company located in Israel. 

Arms Sales and Policy 

Toward Arms Self- Sufficiency 

In addition to permitting South Africa to build its systems under 
license, Israel has given South Africa direct assistance in the establishment 
of its arms industry: 

The Haifa shipyard helped establish South Africa's virtually 
non-existent shipbuilding industry by supplying personnel to 
the Sandock-Austral yard [in Durban] and advising on the 
organization of an efficient production line.' 

Representatives of Israel's major military electronics producers, 
Tadiran, Elbit and lAI helped South Africa establish its own electronics 
sector. South Africa now produces— and smugly claims credit for de- 
veloping—a range of military communications gear.^ As it is clear that in 
their daily routines the South African police and military, the enforcers of 
apartheid, benefit directly from state of the art Israeli electronic technology, 
it is equally clear that the so-called "dual-use" communications gear used 
by the police and military must be included in the category of military 
goods that should be denied to South Africa (by both the U.S. and Israel). 

Many of the 20,000 Israelis now living in South Africa'— a number 
that has increased from 5,000 in 1978<— are believed to be involved in the 
high tech and military sectors. In 1 98 1 South Africa began recruiting Israeli 
engineers, and electronics and computer specialists. ^ 



From surrounding a township to mounting an invasion of Angola, the 
white government has had the advantage of sophisticated and secure 
communications. In May 1985 a South African commando captured by 
Angolan troops while preparing to bomb the Gulf Oil installation in the 
enclave of Cabinda explained how an emergency escape into neighboring 
Zaire would have been handled: 

If the situation arise that we have to go to Zaire, then by means 
of that radio over there, we can talk to Pretoria, who will then 
exactly tell us which people will meet us there. 

South Africa's capacity for havoc and destruction is underscored by 
continuing speculation that a sophisticated decoy radio signal was respon- 
sible for the crash of the airplane carrying Mozambican President Samora 
Machel from Zambia to Mozambique on October 1 9, 1 986 at 9: 1 5 in the 
evening. Coming in for a landing at Maputo, the plane instead flew into a 
mountain just over the South African border. 

Machel, revered within and far beyond his own nation, lay dying in 
the wreckage, while South African police and soldiers, who arrived 
immediately after the crash, drove off medical volunteers and prowled 
through the wreckage, trampling bodies, searching by flashlight for 
documents (the South Africans later displayed notes from the meeting 
which they said discussed a plan to overthrow the government of Malawi, 
where South African backed mercenaries attacking Mozambique have 
found refuge) and asking "Where's Samora.?" The foreign minister himelf, 
Pik Botha, came to the crash site. Later, recounted one of the passengers 
who lay in the wreckage with both legs broken. South African vehicles and 
helicopters arrived. The vehicles ringed the crash site and then turned off 
their headlights, their drivers joining the search with flashlights. It wasn't 
until the following morning that the first survivors were taken to a 
hospital.'' Later the South Africans would say that Machcl's heart and brain 
were "not present due to the violence of the accident."^ 

Amidst a consensus that South Africa was generally to blame- 
according to President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia "because apartheid is 
responsible for all our distress in this region"'— it was quickly established 
that South Africa had the ability to send decoy radio signals.'" Careful 
studies of the flight's last moments led analysts to believe that a decoy 
beacon from South Africa led it astray." The South Africans themselves 
said that the pilot was "disoriented" by a powerful omnidirectional beacon 
transmitting from Swaziland,'^ a nation completely in the thrall of South 
Africa (and also a country where Israelis are made to feel at home). 

It is also, perhaps, worth noting that Zairian President Mobutu was at 
the meeting Machel was attending on the southern shore of Lake 

Israel and South Africa 49 

Tanganyika, m a remote area of Zambia. Mobutu's personal guard has 
been tramed by Israelis.'* And what the South African Foreign Minister 
, said the day of Machel's funeral, as he expressed regret that South Africa 
, had not been mvited: that his government's presence at the crash site 
I showed "clear evidence of the respect shown for President Machel," and 
' South Africa's willingness to "ben[d] over backwards. "'^ 

The area where the crash occurred is a restricted South African 
military zone, and unusual army activity had been observed there in the 
j days immediately preceding the crash. Eyewitnesses said a camp was 
dismantled immediately after the crash. 

An investigation under the control of South Africa (in which 
Mozambique did not participate) revealed that the cockpit voice recorder 
contained exchanges among crew members over whether the beacon signal 
they were receiving indicated a turn in the proper direction. They followed 
a signal that led them 37 degrees off course.'* 

Whether or not South Africa acquired the specific technology capable 
of bringing down Samora Machel's aircraft from Israel, after a decade of 
formalized cooperation with Israel, the white-ruled outlaw state has the 
ability to manufacture all kinds of advanced equipment. The apartheid 
government brags it has accomplished this itself: 

The arms boycott failed for a perfectly simple reason: white 
South Africans refused to commit political suicide. The price 
that had to be paid in buiding up a local armament industry had 
to be paid. There was simply no alternative.'' 

While Pretoria might be correct in touting itself as the world's 1 0th 
argest exporter of arms,'^ it is far less self-sufficient than it pretends to be." 
It IS dependent on Israel for access to developing technology and thus it is 
critical that Israel be prevented from providing South Africa any further 

This question came up as Israel, facing unprecedented Congressional 
scrutiny, and possibly a forced curtailment, of its military commerce with 
South Africa, wondered (through the media) whether "semi-military 
systems" might also provoke Congressional objection. This was only one 
of the questions Israel raised, indirectly through leaks and in private talks 
with the Reagan Administration and on Capitol Hill, as the day (April 1 , 
1987) approached when the President was to submit to Congress a report 
on U.S. allies' military dealings with South Africa. 

That report had been mandated by a provision of an amendment to the 
1986 Comprehensive Ami- Apartheid Bill, passed by Congress on October 
2, 1986. Drafted not by anti-apartheid activists but by two Republican 
senators (Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland and Dan Evans of Washing- 


ton) and appearing as Section 508 of the final bill, the provision required the 
President to conduct a study "on the extent to which the international 
embargo on the sale and exports of arms and military technology to South 
Africa is being violated," and, 180 days after passage of the anti-apartheid 
bill, to submit a report to Congress containing "a detailed assessment of the 
economic and other relationships of other industrialized democracies with 
South Africa." The report was to identify "those countries engaged in such 
sale or export with a view to terminating United States military assistance 
to those countries." 

Had it not had such serious ramifications, the whole episode could be 
appreciated as a farce. When it was introduced in the Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee, some of Israel's special friends there scrambled to 
delete it from the larger amendment offered by Mathias and Evans. The 
committee took three separate votes on the measure: first accepting, then 
rejecting, finally, after adjourning to a back room where several Democratic 
senators were made to realize how hypocritical their attention-getting 
opposition to apartheid was if they weren't willing to act against Israel's 
violations of the arms embargo, it was rejected. On the final vote Senators 
Pell (D-RI, who in 1987 became chair of the committee) and Cranston 
(D-CA, who had greatly pleased his progressive constituents by intro- 
ducing in the Senate the very stiff sanctions bill authored by Rep. Ronald 
Dellums (D-CA) and passed by the House) stood firm, voting against the 
provision with a minority comprised of ultra-rightist Jesse Helms (R-NC) 
and other anti-sanctions Republicans. 

While Israel's lobby could normally have had the amendment deleted, 
in this case the legislation sped along so quickly AIPAC was never able to 
catch up with it. Debate was limited in the full Senate to prevent 
filibustering. The House immediately abandoned its own previously- 
passed anti-apartheid legislation (the Dellums bill) and passed the Senate's 
version without debate. After the President (who never saw a racist he 
didn't try to help) vetoed the measure, both houses of Congress passed it 
over his veto — again, without debate. AIPAC never had a chance. 

In the end, Congress, the administration, and, most of all, Israel, were 
faced with a responsibility that none of them wanted.^" In January and 
February, Israel worked to achieve an understanding with the administra- 
tion over what "gesture" might satisfy the Congress—constituents, who 
might have been harder to satisfy, were, unfortunately, silent. When Prime 
Minister Yitzhak Shamir visited Washington in mid-P'cbruary, the subject 
of how much Israel needed to change its relations with South Africa was 
high on the list of matters discussed. 

Israel and South Africa 


After announcing through official sources that to precipitously end 
existing contracts with South Africa would cost $500 million (over several 
years) and many million more in possible lawsuits, not to mention 
"hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in Israeli military industries, "^i Israel's 
friends raised questions in the press about whether Congress might accept 
the continuation of licensing deals and sales of "semi-military" items." 
With a deafening silence from both the White House and Capitol Hill, Israel 
decided on a: 

"deprofilization" of [its] presence in South Africa. In other 
words, the special relationship between the two nations— 
particularly in what is called "strategic affairs"— will continue, 
but in a much less visible manner and with less direct involve- 
ment of the military so as not to clash with the will of 

Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin was dispatched to South Africa— the 
South Africans were threatening to "tell all" about some yet undisclosed 
aspect of Israeli collaboration^*— where he gave reassurances" and urged 
the Boers to keep their heads down. Shamir told U.S. reporters that Israel 
would keep its "commitments" to South Africa.^* 

The impression was left floating— through intentional newsleaks— 
that Israel might phase out existing agreements and not enter into new 
ones,^' but there was no evidence of any intention to put that offer into 
effect. Moreover, six weeks before the report was due to be submitted to 
Congress it was clear that Congress would not cut off Israel's $1.8 billion 
annual military aid, and Israeli officials had begun concentrating on 

political backlash [that] could nonetheless be very damaging. 
Shamir and his colleagues hope that both the Reagan Adminis- 
tration and Congress will stop short of any public condemnation 
of Israel based on assurances that it will gradually end its 
military relationship with South Africa.^^ 

Was Israel to end its nuclear collaboration with South Africa 
"gradually".? Before Section 508 of the Ami- Apartheid Act of 1986 
fortuitously pried out the information that Israel did hundreds of millions 
of dollars per year of military business with South Africa, Israel always 
denied any arms dealings at all. What assurance is there that Israel is now 
accurately portraying the extent of its trafficking, not just half or one- 
quarter.' The assertion of Defense Minister Rabin, that "whatever happens 
Israel has to maintain its credibility with the U.S. and Israel has never 


played tricks with the U.S.,"^' is less than satisfying after the Iran-contra 
revelations and the Pollard spy case. 

There was no voice in Congress to question Israel's word, much less to 
wonder aloud if the people of Southern Africa were not owed some kind of 
reparations from the people of the U.S., whose client Israel has contributed 
so greatly to their death, suppression and suffering. Instead, Israel's efforts 
to keep the lid on its continued lethal supply lines to South Africa and 
Congress' efforts to keep its own dereliction of duty out of the minds of its 
constituents are both greatly assisted by the almost blanket censorship 
imposed by the South African government. 

The notion of South Africa's "self-sufficiency" should not obscure the 
degree of integration between the two arms industries. James Adams calls it 
their "joint arms industry."'*^ Iskoor, the steel partnership, is one example 
of this integration. A joint Scorpion^' helicopter operation involves initial 
construction in South Africa at the Cape Town firm of Rotoflight 
Helicopters and then final assembly at Israel's Chemavir-Masok." Yet 
another example is Israel's permitting South Africa construction companies 
to bid on a military complex in the Negev Desert.^^ 

Coordinated Exports 

The integration of military industries also appears to have led to some 
degree of integration of foreign operations. Tadiran and the South African 
firm Consolidated Power have established an electronics enterprise in 

It seems the two might also be coordinating their weapons exports to a 
certain extent. A 1982 report noted that South Africa was delivering rush 
orders of parts for Israeli Gabriel missiles and the Neshcr (an early version 
of the Kfir) to Argentina, then engaged in the Malvinas/Falklands war 
with Britain.'^ 

Although the full extent of coordination between Tel Aviv and 
Pretoria is impossible to know, both Israel and South Africa have been 
supplying arms to the governments of Sri Lanka,'* Iran and Morocco. 

Israel, which had counted the Shah of Iran im most important arms 
customer, had been selling arms to the Islamic Republic »ince its war with 
Iraq began in 1980," and in 1985 brought the U.S. into partnership in this 
enterprise, later known as the Iran-contra affair, South Africa followed 
Israel into the Iranian market with an oil-for-arms swap reportedly 
concluded in 1985, under which Iran received $750 million worth of 

Israel and South Africa 53 

weapons. The only weapon known to have been involved in that deal was 
the G-5 howitzer,38 the South African version of the SRC 155 mm 
howitzer which Israel helped South Africa obtain from the U.S. (South 
Africa cut the same deal with Iraq.'') There is an international embargo on 
oil shipments to South Africa, and Israel has often used violations of the 
embargo by Middle East governments to support its claim that it should not 
be singled out for its dealings with South Africa. Although many of the 
shipments to South Africa that originate in the Gulf are purveyed to the 
apartheid regime by private dealers such as fugitive financi er Marc Rich , it 
appears (although the news accounts seem mainly to emanate from the 
London newshnei Euromoney Trade Finance Report) that Iran and Iraq are 
directly involved in such deals.'*" 

Visitors to th e Sahraw LArab Democratic Repnhlir have seen South 
Africa weapons which the Polisario Front has captured from Morocco in 
its battle for control of the formerly Spanish Western Sahara. Polisario also 
charges that South Africa is training Moroccans. Following a visit of Prime 
Minister Shimon Peres to Morocco in July 1 986— described in terms of the 
(interminable) "peace process"— Israel reportedly pledged to provide 
Morocco with sophisticated arms and training.*' In the past, Israel has sold 
Morocco tanks and armored personnel carriers.''^ Israeli officers have been 
signted near the wall" King Hassan II is building to try to maintain the fiction 
that he controls the territory claimed by the SADR, and taking part in the 
"African Eagle" military exercises staged by the U.S. and Morocco in 
November 1986.« 

Discouraging as these developments may seem to advocates of 
sanctions against South Africa, our continued efforts to curtail the flow of 
military technology to Pretoria still matter: preventing the white regime 
from producing state-of-the-art weaponry will make its export offerings 
less attractive, hence depriving it of further income to pursue its aggressive 
domestic and external policies.''^ 

Southern Africa: After the IsraeU Model 

In these foreign operations, which strengthen both countries and 
challange the confines of their international isolation, Israel has generally 
been the facilitator, possessing the entre to such adventures as Guatemala 
and Sri Lanka. As it came snarling and hissing into the 1980s in its own 
region, South Africa has also looked to Israel for help and inspiration. 


Many parallels in the tactics and strategies employed by Israel and 
South Africa have been noted. *^ Partly this is a result of collegiality: the 
military attaches of Israel and South Africa "consult frequently on 
counterinsurgency tactics."*' Yet there is an unmistakable teacher-student 
pattern in the communication of the very techniques which have brought 
down international criticism on both. As in the direction of the technology 
flow between the two nations, the imparting of repressive techniques 
usually casts Israel in the mentor's role. 

The South Africans greatly admired the Israeli raid on Entebbe 
airport.*^ "South African generals now consciously emulate the flam- 
boyance of the Israeli generals," wrote a specialist on the South African 
military.*' Even before 1976 South Africans had looked to Israel for 
techniques they might adapt. Describing the lecture given by Air Force 
General Mordechai Hod during his 1967 visit to South Africa, a member of 
the select military audience said, "It was an intensely interesting lecture, 
which made it apparent that the tactics employed by the Israeli Air Force 
were brilliant. The Israelis seem to have been as clever as a cartload of 

The South Africans began teaching the lessons of Israel's 1 967 war at 
their maneuver school,^' and Israeli advisers began teaching the Boers the 
arts of suppressing a captive population and keeping hostile neighbors off 
balance." In the Vorster agreements discussed earlier, Israeli advisory 
services for South Africa were institutionalized. 

Senior army officers in Israel have confirmed that IDP" [Israeli 
Defense Forces] personnel have been seconded to all branches of 
the South African armed forces , and according to senior sources 
in the Israeli defense establishment, there are currently some 300 
active Israeli servicemen and women on secondment in South 
Africa. These include army, navy and air force personnel who 
help train the South Africans, border security experts, ..counter 
intelligence experts... and defense scientists who cooperate on 
the development of new weapons systems. In addition, there are 
several hundred South Africans in Israel at any one time, being 
trained in weapons systems, battle strategy and counter- 
insurgency warfare.^' 

The white government's practice of donicitic counterinsurgency 
combines outright military brutality with the extensive use of informers 
and collaborators. It is impossible to know how many refinements of these 
age-old techniques have been borrowed from the Israelii' occupation of the 
West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heigiits. The Israeli system of village 
leagues is obviously comparable to the hated town councils imposed on 

Israel and South Africa 55 

segregated townships by the apartheid government. The collective pun- 
ishment employed by the Israelis, such as the destruction of a whole 
family's home when one of its members is arrested as a suspect in an act of 
resistance, has lately been matched by the recent South African practices of 
sealing off townships, and assaulting entire funeral processions. What is 
perhaps more salient is the South African victims' perceptions of Israel's 
involvement in their oppression and how readily that perception is 

At a party in Santa Cruz, California, a South African student passes 
around a photograph of a street scene in Soweto, the large black township 
outside Johannesburg. Somewhat reproachfully he calls attention to the 
white policeman in the picture and the Uzi he's holding. 

Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was more direct when he 
told guests at a San Francisco breakfast sponsored by the American Jewish 
Congress that he was troubled by reports of Israeli collaboration with 
South Africa, "with a government whose policies are so reminiscent of 
Nazis. (While quick to point out the contributions of individual Jews to 
the struggle against apartheid. Tutu has in the past lambasted Israel for its 
"monopoly on the Holocaust. "^^) 

Even those South African blacks willing to cooperate with Israel have 
publicly called on Tel Aviv to stop selling arms to South Africa. Chief 
Gatsha Buthelezi, a great favorite of Israel, told reporters there that he 
favored an international arms embargo against South Africa.^* One 
member of a group of black South African "activists" brought to Israel for 
a training program (see below) told the press that Israel was "among the 
countries that sell weapons to South Africa, which kill [sic] blacks with 
them, including three-year-old children."^' 

"Israel," wrote a reader to the City Press, a black South African paper, 
"has chosen to support the South African Government— thereby sanc- 
tioning the brutal suppression of our people. "^^ 

It should also be noted that South Africans — with other people around 
the world— regard the activities of Israel as an extension of U.S. policy. 

If Israel's role in the internal repression meted out by South Africa 
(including the active Israeli role in the bantustans — see below) is a matter of 
perception, evidence is accumulating, despite strenuous attempts to main- 
tain a lid of secrecy, of Israeli involvement in South Africa's foreign 
aggressions against Namibia and the Frontline states. 



Israeli specialists have been "permanently based" along South African 
border areas for over a decade. Numbering "more than fifty" in 1 984, their 
assigned task is to advise the South Africans on preventing cross-border 
infiltration.^' In the late 1970s, uniformed Israeli soldiers were reported 
active in Namibia, the former colony of Southwest Africa which South 
Africa has refused to relinquish, against fighters for SWAPO, the South 
West Africa Peoples Organization, which has an extensive following in 
Namibia. One of these reports noted that uniformed Israelis had been seen 
in the capital, Windhoek, and that "they were constructing an electrified 
barrier the length of the [Namibian] frontier with Angola."*'" 

In 1981, Ariel Sharon, at the time Israel's Minister of Defense, spent 
10 days with South African troops in Namibia on the Angolan border.*' 
Uri Dan, a close associate of Sharon who accompanied him on that visit, 
wrote of his experience: 

36-year-old Col. Lamprecht does not talk as an army man, but 
as someone in charge of civilian administration in an area under 
military rule.. .When I look at the South African officers, talking 
Afrikans or English, and during operations, I get the feeling that 
they will soon begin giving orders in Hebrew. Their physical 
appearance, their freshness, their frankness, their conduct on the 
battlefield, remind one of Israeli officers. And I didn't say this 
about the American and South Vietnamese officers I met 1 1 
years ago in Vietnam... 

"Don't underestimate the influence the example of the 
Israeli army as a fighting army has on us," a senior officer told 
me in Pretoria."'^ 

In the guise of development assistance, Israel has also helped the South 
Africans establish control of the long-suffering population of Namibia.*' 

In 1984, at a time when even South Africa's staunchest Western 
supporters took a hands-off position in response to a South African 
challenge to take Namibia off its hands'* the Israeli Ambassador to Pretoria 
went to Windhoek and told South African radio that "Israel would not 
insist on a precondition that the territory first become independent before 
agreeing to help it in its economic development."*' 

In response to the ambassador's invitation a team of high ranking 
officials of the South African colonial government paid a twelve-day visit to 
Israel the following April. They were there to look at what Israel had to 

Israel and South Africa 57 

offer in the field of "agriculture, water management and water supply, 
community development and regional planning."** 

A second visit to Israel the following year brought the puppet 
government's Health and Education ministers to Israel. They issued a long 
report when they returned to Namibia, prattling on about Israeli integra- 
tion of peoples from "non-industrial cultures into an industrial and 
technical culture, including the accompanying social, language and unem- 
ployment problems" and the Israeli labor unions and health systems. Their 
report promised specific proposals for Namibia.*^ Namibian recruits were 
taking courses in Israel at Histadrut's A fro- Asian In stitute in early 1 986 *^ 

The true definition of "community development" programs in 
contested areas is, of course, "pacification," as practiced unsuccessfully by 
the U.S. in Vietnam— and as practiced with increasing effect by Israel. As 
elsewhere, the object of these programs in Namibia is to destroy indigenous 
and/or revolutionary forms of social organization and to construct a 
repressive, regimented system that monopolizes provision of social services 
and compels participation— "winning hearts and minds," it is called— and 
thereby establishing political control. In the case of Namibia, much of 
which is under a dusk-to-dawn curfew and occupation by more than 
100,000 South African troops (compared to a white Namibian population 
of 76,000)*' the benefits to South Africa of long-term control of the 
population are obvious. South Africa, which established a puppet regime in 
Namibia in June 1985, clings to the former German colony both for its 
wealth of natural resources and as part of its drive for dominance over 

Israel's doctrine of pre-emptive attack has served as a model for South 
Africa. Its 1982 invasion of Lebanon— Israeli officers briefed the Afri- 
kaners on their operations there'"- inspired South Africa to attack 
Mozambique in 1983 and to invade Angola in 1984. A somewhat 
imprecise term, "invade," as South Africa has occupied part of Southern 
Angola almost constantly for the last decade. (As with Israel's wars. South 
Africa's constant aggressions have enabled officials to boast that their 
export weapons are "battle-tested."^') 

The Frontline States 

The South Africans noted that their May 1 983 aerial attack (dubbed 
"Operation Shrapnel") on Mozambique's capital, Maputo, was analogous 
to Israel's attack on Beirut the previous summer. One analyst, Joseph 


Hanlon, believes that one of South Africa's objectives in the attack was to 
see how its version of events would play in the media. It was received very 
well indeed, according to Hanlon, with the Western press accepting South 
Africa's claim that its attack was in "retaliation" for an ANC attack and that 
ANC "bases" were hit. 

Instead, the South African Air Force hit a childcare center and private 
houses with "special fragmentation rockets," leaving 6 dead and 40 
wounded. This follows the Israeli practice in Lebanon of speaking about 
PLO installations while civilians are the actual targets, and attacking with 
particularly heinous anti-personnel weapons — cluster bombs and phos- 
phorous bombs.'' 

The victims of South Africa's angst are not blind to the similarity of 
attacks — or motives. 

President Samora Machel likened the Israeli Government to the 
Pretoria regime. He said that because of its inability to contain 
the fury of the Palestinian people led by the PLO, the Zionist 
regime is trying to transfer the war to other regions. 

So reported Mozambican radio shortly after Israeli aircraft bombed PLO 
headquarters in Tunisia in October 1985.'* 

The model provided by Israel, which punishes every internal act of 
resistance and violent act outside its jurisdiction with a bombing raid on 
Palestinian targets in Lebanon — almost always refugee camps cynically 
identified by the Israelis as "terrorist bases" or "headquarters"— has served 
South Africa well. In January 1986, the white government's radio 
delivered a commentary on "the malignant presence" of "terrorism" in 
neighboring states and said "there's only one answer now, and that's the 
Israeli answer." Israel had managed to survive "by striking at terrorists 
wherever they exist."" 

In May 1986, South Africa demonstrated that it had assumed the right 
to attack its neighbors at a time and on a pretext of its own choosing. The 
chosen time was during a visit by the Eminent Persons Group of the 
Commonwealth of Nations, which was attempting to establish negotiations 
between the apartheid regime and its opposition. The victims— Zambia, 
Botswana and Zimbabwe, all Commonwealth members— were chosen for 
their alleged harboring of "terrorists"; the real victims were South African 
exiles and an employee of the government of Botswana. The South 
Africans said they had attacked "international terrorism" and compared 
their raids to the Israeli attack on Tunisia and the U.S. attack on Libya in 
April 1986.76 

The attack was similar in style to Israel's 1985 attack on Tunisia. 
Initially, the Israelis had been threatening Jordan" and perhaps because 

Israel and South Africa 59 

Kmg Hussein of Jordan was at the time on an official visit to the U S the 
Israelis chose to take revenge for the killing of three Israelis (believed to be 
top Mossad agents) in Larnaca, Cyprus on the PLO in Tunisia.'^ 

Two weeks after its three-pronged attack on its Commonwealth 
neighbors, South Africa attacked the Angolan harbor of Namibe, firing 
their version of the Israeli Gabriel missile." 

Israel has also been connected with the mercenary forces deployed by 
South Africa against Angola and Mozambique. In the 1970s Israel aided 
the FNL A (Angolan National Liberation Front) proxy forcesS" organized 
and trained by the CIA to forestall the formation of a government led by 
the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola-now the 
ruling party of Angola). John Stockwell, who ran the CIA operation 
against Angola, recollected three arms shipments Israel made in coopera- 
tion with the CIA: a plane full of 1 20 mm shells sent via Zaire to the FNLA 
and Unita; a shipment of 50 SA-7 missiles (all of which were duds); a 
boatload sent to neighboring Zaire in a deal that the Israelis had worked out 
with President Mobutu, even though the Zairian strong man had broken 
ties with Israel two years earlier.^' 

When Israel reestablished relations with Zaire (in 1 982) and began to 
train Zairian forces in the Shaba border province, Angola had cause for 
concern. The leader of the FNLA had been Holden Roberto, brother-in- 
law of Zairian president Mobutu, Israel's new client.s^ In 1 986, it would be 
established that Zaire acted as a funnel for "covert" U.S. military aid for the 
Unita forces of Jonas Savimbi.83 

In 1983, the Angolan News Agency reported that Israeli military 
experts were training Unita forces in Since Zaire began 
receiving military aid and training from Tel Aviv, Angola has been ill at 
ease. Its worries increased after discovering that: 

Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was personally involved 
in the organization, training and equipping of "commando" 
units of the army of Zaire, especially organized for missions 
along the borders of the RPA [AngolaJ.^J 

In 1984, the Financial Times (London) wrote of "joint Israeli-South 
African support for Unita forces.''^^ Other sources also report the transfer 
of Israeli arms and financial support to Unita.^' 

In 1 983 , Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos told Berkeley 
California Mayor Eugene (Gus) Newport that an Israeli pilot had been 
shot down during a South African attack. The Angolan President showed 
Newport pictures of captured Israeli weapons. The following year, 
Luanda reported the capture of three mercenaries who said they had been 
trained by Israeli instructors in Zaire.^^ 


Israel has also been involved with the Mozambican "contras," the 
South African-backed MNR (Mozambique National Resistance or "Re- 
namo"), which has brought great economic and social distress to Mozam- 
bique. Renamo has a particular reputation for ideological incoherrence, 
being regarded by most other right-wing insurgencies as a gang of 
cutthroats. For several years there have been stories coming from Southern 
Africa of captured mercenaries of Renamo who say they were trained in 
neighboring Malawi— one of the four nations to maintain relations with 
Israel after the Organization of African Unity (OAU) declared a diplo- 
matic embargo in 1973— by Israelis. And more than one report has told of 
"substantial Israeli aid" to the MNR, thought to have been funded by the 
CIA and Saudi Arabia as well as South Africa and former Portuguese 

In late 1986, "intelligence reports" from Southern Africa confirmed 
the reports of Israeli training and attributed the MNR's "greatly improved 
tactics" to the Israeli trainers.^' Around the same time, found among a 
number of white men left dead after an attack on Zimbabwean troops on 
duty in Mozambique was a man wearing a Star of David.'" 

There are at least two earlier reports of Israelis captured in Mozam- 
bique. One, a pilot captured in the late 1970s, might have been included in 
an east- west spy swap in 1978." The other, 2 7-year-old Amikam Efrati of 
less certain occupation, was held for three months by Mozambique and 
released after Israeli Laborites asked members of the French Socialist Party 
to intervene. A warm welcome was prepared for Efrati on his Golan 
Heights kibbutz.'^ 


Economic Cooperation 

In addition to South Africa's cash and strategic mineral contributions 
to Israeli-South African military undertakings, the two have forged 
economic links that are as strategic as they are profitable. They are almost 
as well concealed as the military commerce between the two nations, 
enabling Israel to claim that its trade with South Africa is insignificant.' ' 

However, well before grassroots campaigns in the U.S. and Britain 
prompted the exodus of big business from South Africa and, in the case of 
the U.S., the imposition of economic sanctions, Israel qualified in many 
ways as South Africa's most important trading partner. This determination 
was reached by adding the undisclosed amounts of the weapons Israel sells 
to South Africa and the diamonds it obtains from the white-run state.^ 

Because the diamonds are sold from a London office by the South 
African DeBeers syndicate, the Central Selling Organization, which has a 
lock on the world market for uncut stones, they do not appear in statistics of 
two-way trade between Israel and South Africa. Polished diamonds are 
Israel's largest single export item, accounting for over $1.5 billion in 1 986.3 
There is very little value added in the polishing: imports for 1986 were 
$1.25 billion.* 

Also invisible in the published statistics of trade between the two 
nations are revenue from joint military and civilian enterprises of Israel and 
South Africa. The known civilian undertakings are Zimcorn, a shipping 
company,^ and South Atlantic Corporation, a fishing enterprise.^ A range 



of business activities are carried out by one in the economy of the other. 
Iskoor, the Israeli-South African steel company which makes tank armor, is 
owned by South Africa and Israel's Histadrut trade union federation, and 
operates in Israel.'' 

Thus, although the revealed statistics of trade between Tel Aviv and 
Pretoria seem rather paltry — $66.4 million Israeli exports to South Africa 
and 1187 million exports from South Africa to Israel^ — it is important to 
bear in mind that they reflect only trade in items both sides are willing to 
make public. These include coal, steel, base metals, timber, tobacco, hides, 
wool, paper, minerals, and foodstuffs from South Africa and from Israel 
finished products such as computer software, agricultural and other types 
of machinery, textiles, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, and "safety and 
security products."' Although trade grew by a multiple of ten between 
1970 and 1979 (from $20.9 million to $199.3 million)io the numbers on 
paper certainly do not seem large enough to explain the existence of 
dynamic Israel-South Africa Chambers of Commerce in Tel Aviv and 
Johannesburg, or the annual meetings of finance ministers" under the 
framework of the ministerial committee set up during the 1976 Vorster 
talks. By contrast, Israel exported $2.2 billion worth of goods and services 
to the U .S_, in 1985.'^ * 

What is truly remarkable is the unrevealed and hence uncalculated 
scope of Israeli-South African economic cooperation. It goes well beyond 
weapons and diamonds, falling under the broad category of investment in 
each other's economies, but it is most notably directed to helping South 
Africa escape the rigors of the sanctions which, in an effort to force the 
white minority government to dismantle apartheid, the international 
community has begun to impose. 

South Africa has a significant interest in the Israeli economy, 
providing 35 percent of all non-U. S. investment in the three years prior to 
1984.'^ This South African investment, "tens of millions of dollars. ..has 
been an important source of new funds for Israeli industry and con- 

Although originally an exception to South Africa's extraordinarily 
tight currency and trade laws, the export of Jewish contributions to Israel, 
(see above) was expanded under the 1976 bilateral agreements as a unique 
dispensation for South African citizens to invest in approved projects in 
Israel.'^ In 1980, the white minority government also gave permission for 
Israeli government bonds to be sold in South Africa. While Israelis trying 
to minimize the extent of their country's economic relations with South 
Africa will often explain that dealing with Pretoria enables South African 

Israel and South Africa 63 

Jews to get their capital out of the country, a South African newspaper 
points out: 

...investors in Israel today include names off the company 
boards of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange]. For the in- 
dividual or smaller corporate investor, there exists a handful of 
Israeli companies whose specific business is to attract [South 
African] and other foreign investment in joint ventures." 

In fact, raising funds from the Jewish community and boosting 
business links with South Africa go hand in hand. In 1982, on one of the 
annual meetings established under the 1976 agreements, Israeli Finance 
Minister Gideon Pat visited South Africa and: 

[took] part in 1 7 meetings of the emergency [a reference to 
Israel's invasion of Lebanon that June] bonds fundraising 
group, will meet with economic officials and will see to 
increasing investments by South African companies in Israel. 

South African capital has contributed to major Israeli infrastructural 
projects: development projects in the Negev desert, a coal loading facility, a 
Mediterranean-Dead Sea water diversion project, a major insurance 
company, tourist and sports facilities and commercial and residential real 
estate as well as a railroad linking Tel Aviv with the Red Sea port of Eilat. " 
Other approved areas for South African investment include film produc- 
tion, oil exploration, and the purchase of shares in Israeli companies to 
increase production capacity,^'' all areas of obvious benefit to South Africa. 

The Springboard 

Although Israel's economy hit the skids in the 1980s, South African 
businessmen have had a compelling motive for continuing to invest their 
money in the Jewish state: Israel provides a tried and true "springboard" 
into markets where South African products are unwelcome. Since the late 
1970s South Africans have been establishing joint ventures in Israel where 
their cheap-labor products are brought for final assembly and marked with 
a "made in Israel" label. Shipped abroad, these products enter U.S. and 
European markets under Israel's duty free entitlement. Israel has a Free 
Trade Agreement with the U.S. under which all tariffs will be removed by 
1995; a similar agreement with the EEC allows duty-free entry for all 
Israeli nonagricultural products. 


In the 1970s and early 1980s, such an opportunity was particularly 

attractive to South African businessmen, as their own highly protected 

economy was faced with steep tariffs by Western trading partners. In 1 977, 

in conjunction with the South Africa-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, the 

Universities of Tel Aviv and Stellenbosch presented a series of seminars in 

South Africa entitled "Israel: Crossroads of International Trade," to 

acquaint South African businessmen with the benefits of exporting via 
Israel. 22 

In 1979, South African industrialist Archie Hendler, whose joint 
venture in Israel manufactured kitchen ware, noted that "the main reason 
for going into Israel is to gain access to the Common Market" on Israel's 
favorable terms.^^ 

In the mid 1980s, as sanctions began to threaten South African 
exporters, the use of Israel as a springboard or back door into Western 
markets became even more attractive. In 1 983 the Israeli Finance Minister 
went to South Africa with specific proposals for joint industrial ventures 
that the South African Government could establish with Israel.^* 

How effective has this bilateral conniving been.' What is the actual 
amount of goods Israel has helped South Africa sneak into the market 
baskets of unwitting consumers.' That, of course, is difficult to determine- 
especially since no one has tried very hard to unearth the facts. It has been 
known for a decade that Iskoor has been representing the South African 
steel industry in the European Economic Community.^^ It was reported in 
1 980 that the Israeli government's agricultural marketing board, Agrexco, 
was selling South African fruit in the U.S." South Africa's large electronics 
firm (owned by the Oppenheimer holding company Anglo American) 
Control Logic mated with the Israeli Elron group to form Conlog, whose 
business is to springboard South African products from Israel." The 
United Nations, in 1 98 1 , published a report containing the names of several 
companies and their products— Koor, owned by Histadrut, and Sen- 
trachem, a South African fertilizer and chemical concern;^^ Israel's Poli- 
chrom and South Africa's Chemtra, exporting chemicals for the paints and 
plastics industries; Transvaal Mattresses, exporting with Israel's Green- 
stein and Rosen; and Israel's Muenster foods, selling the South African 
brands Honey Crunch, Epol and Vital"— but this did not contain the 
brand names under which South African products were sold abroad. 

In one more recent case, products were sold with no labels. The 
Hanita kibbutz, which is affiliated with the labor movement 

buys drills and other small tools from South Africa and re- 
exports them to Japan, South Korea, the European Economic 

Israel and South Africa 65 

Community and the United States . . . The products are sold with 
no marks to identify them as either Israeli or South African.^o 

Histadrut, the parent of Koor, is involved in a great deal of the South 
African trade^i and the Hanita Kibbutz is no aberration. 

What is certain is that as the antiapartheid movement in the U.S. 
gathered force via local and union boycotts of South African products, and 
local and institutional divestment from corporations involved in South 
Africa and, in 1985 and 1986 pushed sanctions legislation to the top of the 
Congressional agenda, Israel and South Africa both stepped up efforts on 
this type of sanctions busting. 

In September 1985, the South African Ministry of Trade and Industry 
released an Export Bulletin reminding exporters: 

[Companies] can use Israel as a production base from which they 
can export their goods duty-free to the U.S. provided value 
added in Israel is at least 3 5% of the article's value when it enters 
the U.S. 

A Johannesburg daily said that "Local companies... say they are being 
encouraged by senior Israeli officials." " A November 1985 report noted a 
53 percent increase of South African exports to Israel between the previous 
January and May.^* 

Also in November 1985, the white South African government set up 
an office to coordinate "nonconventional trade" through "other coun- 
tries."" Several months earlier an Israeli businessman, Amnon Rotem, had 
offered himself to the South African government as "a middleman in 
channeling [South African] exports to European and American markets... 
duty free" and said the scheme would require "a large investment" by the 
government.'* By year's end, "new strategies to counter the challenge on 
sanctions and boycotts by overseas political lobbies" were in place, and 
South Africa's exports had risen 44 percent in the first 10 months of the 
year over the corresponding period the previous year." During the first 
two months of 1986, South African exports increased again by 25 percent 
over the first two months of 1 985.38 Although it is not possible to establish 
a direct relationship with the increased South African exports, Israeli 
imports of merchandise did register a gain of 1 1 .4 percent in the first five 
months of 1986 over the corresponding period in the previous year.'' In 
August 1986, the South African minister of trade and industry urged 
censorship of trade statistics, which "could easily be used by our 

South Africa has tried to organize businessmen in a number of western 
countries and to establish front companies in dependent African countries. 


For instance, a joint South African-Israeli operation called Liat has 
recently set up shop in the West African nation of Sierra Leone*' and a 
number of South African companies operate in Swaziland. ''^ 

A great portion of South Africa's sanctions busting strategy has 
involved Israel. As early as July 1 984, the senior general manager of Iscor 
Ltd., the South African partner in Iskoor, met with Israeli leaders to discuss 
the consortium of South African companies and banks proposed to 
finance — to the tune of $250-1300 million — the completion of the Eilat rail 
road. "The railway to the Red Sea port city would spark new life into the 
flagging port facilities and would help speed South African exports to their 
destinations in Israel."*^ 

Despite mounting pressures from international circles and within its 
own ruling establishment — a former director-general of the Israeli Foreign 
Ministry urged Tel Aviv to downplay "the public aspect of the South 
Africa connection" and also to resist "the pressures [of] some South African 
businessmen" and their Israeli counterparts "who have their links with 
influential politicians here" to act as an export conduit for South Africa"** — 
Israel has continued to respond to the white government's needs as if 
helplessly in its thrall. 

The grim news for anti-apartheid activists is that South Africa, 54 
percent of whose trade is already clandestine, would only need to boost its 
sanctions-busting by 16 percent to compensate for the U.S. sanctions now 
on the books.*' 

In late 1986 both Israel and South Africa were embarrassed by an 
advertisement placed in the Johannesburg paper Business Day offering 
"unconventional trade" services including " trans-shipments , r e-invoicing, 
document recertification, temporary warehou sing, bartering and buy- 
backs." The Voyager Corporation in l ei Aviv placed the ad. Its South 
Aincan agent said it had been placed in error by U.S. associates!*' 

In June 1 986, in an effort to head off demonstrations marking the 1 0th 
anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the apartheid government instituted its 
most brutal state of emergency to date. At the last moment, Israel followed 
other Western governments in a 24-hour closure of its Pretoria embassy. 
The Israeli Knesset took the opportunity to issue some elegant statements 
condemning apartheid. One of these claimed, "Israel as the state of the 
Jewish people is commited to stand at the head of those who negate 
apartheid and fight for human rights."*' Prime Minister Peres said, "We 
know it is impossible to compromise with racial discrimination."*' 

Less than two months later, with one official privately warning "In the 
end, we're going to have to pay a heavy price for this," a delegation 
departed for South Africa, under the leadership of the director general of 

Israel and South Africa 


the Finance Ministry.*' The director general said that the annual agree- 
ments with South Africa were about to expire'" and Israel justified the trip 
by pointing out that the delegation was for the first time not headed by the 
finance minister himself." 

The talks were said to concern Israel's fishing rights in South African 
waters, a better deal on credits for its coal imports, and, most significantly, 
increased South African investment in and trade with Israel. The talks 
"highlight[ed] Israel as a potential weak link in the chain of international 
sanctions against South Africa."" 

The trip, taken when South African authorities were jailing and 
torturing thousands of anti-apartheid activists, made international headlines 
and prompted intense speculation on the role of Israel (and the South 
African Jewish community) as "South Africa's insurance policy against 
isolation. "'3 A statement issued after the talks said they had been held in "a 
friendly atmosphere" and "were fruitful and continued trade and financial 
cooperation is considered to be in the interest of both countries."'* It was 
also announced that South African investment in Israel would be allowed 
up to about $15 million during the coming year." 

Meanwhile, to revive its beached economy, Israel is banking on a more 
sophisticated and aggressive marketing campaign for its exports to the U.S. 
and specialization in high technology development and exports," another 
area of vital concern to South Africa, which will be discussed below. 

It is worth contemplating whether protection for Israel is embedded in 
the agreements the two governments have signed, should international 
attention some day turn from South Africa to focus on Israel's human rights 
abuses. One known area of such cooperation is the coal which Israel 
receives from South Africa. 

Israel was badly traumatized by the oil price rises of the 1 970s, and by 
the abrupt cessation of its oil supply when the Shah of Iran was overthrown 
in 1 978. It later returned the Sinai oilfields to Egypt under the Camp David 
Accords. Although Israel's oil supply is guaranteed by the U.S. and 
Mexico,'^ and it is therefore not subject to the threat of boycott, there is no 
guarantee that the price won't go through the roof again. Because of its 
refusal to sign the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, Israel has also been unable 
to find a country willing to help it build nuclear power plants. South 
African coal companies have not only signed a series of contracts to deliver 
increasingly large allotments of coal to Israel for power generation,'^ but 
South Africa has promised to join Israel in a naval escort should there be a 
problem with making deliveries." Israel has built a new coal-fired 
generator and unloading facilities and is "aggressively moving" toward 
coal-fired powerplants.*" 


Israel's Stake in South Africa 

Israel obviously does not compare in size of investment to U.S. and 
European participation in the South African economy, as the latter occurs 
through national and multinational corporations. However, Israeli invest- 
ment in South African enterprises has shot up recently; excluding the 
United States and Western Europe, Israeli investment in 1983 and 1984 
trailed only Taiwanese investment and included investment in South 
African steel enterprises,*' with ten new Israeli enterprises reported in 
1984.*2 A 1985 report said Israeli investment in South Africa had grown 
"tenfold" in two years." Meanwhile, U.S. and European firms are leaving 
South Africa in droves. 

What the Israeli investment might lack in volume, it makes up by being 
concentrated in two key areas: high technology and the bantustans, the 
austere tribal reserves to which the white government has exiled more than 
half of the black majority. 

Scientific cooperation — in the civil as well as the military sphere — was 
a major element in the 1976 Vorster agreements, and what has been 
provided on a commercial basis (with either private or parastatal enter- 
prises) seems to have been in close conjunction with the bilateral 
undertakings. As time goes by and one of the most powerful effects of 
international sanctions— that South Africa will be left by the wayside of 
technological progress*'' — does not come to pass, the significance of the 
Israeli contribution will be understood, perhaps lamented. 

Visiting Israel in the fall of 1986, S. Kruger, the director of the South 
African Department of Trade and Industry, noted that "Israel could 
provide much of the high-technology needed by South Africa."*' 

Although much of the collaboration in technology has seen South 
African money going to the Israeli industrial sector, some energy has been 
directed toward providing the Boers with their own industrial applications. 
The 1983 agreement, according to the South African Finance Minister 
Owen Horwood, 

covered joint projects already tackled and still to be tackled by 
the two countries. It also made provision for the freer flow of 
money between the two countries and the setting up of mutual 
trade and credit and cooperation in the spheres of agriculture, 
technology and research.** 

Out of that agreement was born the Israel/South Africa Industrial and 
Agricultural Research and Development Programme. Working under the 
direction of Saidcor (South African Inventions Development Corporation) 

Israel and South Africa 69 

and the Israeli Ministry of Trade and Industry, the program establishes 
bi-national partnerships for specific projects. To date the projects have 
included educational software, computerized water management systems, 
and an enhancement of the capability of South Africa's Posts and 
Telecommunications Department. Under consideration are a laser-material 
processing center and a pilotless (drone) crop spraying plane.*^ 

In 1984, the Israeli minister of science and development and South 
Africa's ambassador to Israel met and announced that Israel and South 
Africa would strengthen scientific and research ties.*^ In early 1985, a 
South African delegation concluded a visit to Israel by secretly signing yet 
another agreement with Tel Aviv for cooperation in science and tech- 
nology. According to similar reports in Jane's Defense Weekly and the Israeli 
daily Ha'aretz, the "joint ventures and projects in high technology fields" 
stipulated by the contract were worth $5 million. The agreement was 
negotiated by the Israeli ministries of finance and trade and industry. It was 
then approved by the Israeli cabinet.*' 

(That two such articles should evade Israeli censorship is highly 
unusual. It might even be that the story was floated as an attempt at a priori 
damage control. Thus, the suspiciously low figure of |5 million might have 
been given with the idea that later on it could be cited to prove the 
"minimal" nature of Israel's dealings with South Africa.) 

The inclusion in the trade delegation that visited South Africa in 
August 1986 of a representative from the chief scientist's office™ points to 
yet another increase in Israeli cooperation with South Africa in the sphere 
of civilian technology. Israel and South Africa have held 14 joint 
scientific symposiums, nine in Israel and five in South Africa. The last one 
was held in 1 984 at Ben Gurion University in the Negev.^' South African 
money has also been poured into Israel's Technion, the country's major 
scientific university. In 1984 the South Africa Advanced Manufacturing 
Systems Building and Laser Laboratory, financed by $1.5 million from 
South African, was dedicated.'^ 

It is in this institutional context that Israeli investment in South Africa 
must be regarded. At least a dozen major Israeli companies have invested in 
South African operations," among them the military electronics firms 
noted above. Afitra, one of many companies owned by the Israeli labor 
federation Histadrut, whose giant Koor is a major player in South Africa, 
markets some of Israel's most sophisticated products (advanced software, 
computerized milling machines, emergency lighting systems, etc.) as well 
as products of Israel's kibbutzim,'''^ or collective farms. Another Israeli firm, 
Agri-Carmel, brings the latest Israeli agricultural developments to South 
Africa. Agri-Carmel is a partnership of the Israeli parastatal Agridev and 
the South African company Gerber Goldschmidt." 

The Bantustans 

The Bantustans 

A critical element of Israeli investment in South Africa is a rapacious 
"private enterprise" interest in the bantustans, the barren pseudostates that 
warehouse much of the black majority. The centerpiece of apartheid, the 
bantustans were envisioned as "tribal homelands," putting forth the fiction 
of South Africa as a number of diverse tribal groups. The "white" tribe, 
which did the geographical engineering, just happened to have the 
homeland with all the industrial infrastructure, rich farmland and access to 

The Israeli government provides development and military aid and a 
measure of political recognition for the bantustans accorded by no other 
government. This has been especially evident in the case of Ciskei, an 
enclave of 600,000 near Cape Town, which has been described as "one of 
the most economically underdeveloped areas in the world and also one of 
the poorest in Africa."' 

During the 1983 Israeli-South African bilateral economic meeting, the 
Israeli radio reported: "It was. ..decided that close ties will be established 
between Israel and Ciskei, one of the puppet states set up in South Africa for 
the blacks." The radio quoted South African reports that Israel would also 
supply weapons to Ciskei.^ The Israeli government denies it now, but it 
was reported to have signed an arms contract with Ciskei in 1 982.' A twin 
engine jet once used by Israeli Prime Minister Begin was sold at a nominal 
cost, and "special weapons and knowhow" was also transferred to Ciskei.* 



Included in the deal was the gift of a police dog to Charles Sebe, security 
chief and the brother of bantustan "President" Lennox Sebe.^ During the 
summer of 1984, a group of farmers from Ciskei studied on Israeli 
kubbutzim and moshavim (communal and cooperative settlements, 

In late 1982, Ciskei had established a trade mission in Tel Aviv.' It 
appointed Yosef Schneider and Nat Rosenwasser as representatives. 
Schneider had previously served as an aide to extremist Knesset Member 
Meir Kahane.8 Rosenwasser was a member of the Herut Party Central 
Committee.' Herut is the dominant component of the Likud coalition. 
Schneider and Rosenwasser had arranged a number of tours to Ciskei for 
Israeli notables.'" Undoubtedly their work encouraged Israeli entrepre- 
neurs, some of them former officials, others with close connections to the 
highest echelons of the Israeli governing establishment, to avail themselves 
of the cornucopia of investment incentives offered by the minority 
government in Pretoria to lure employers to Ciskei and the other 

By July 1 984 there were 60 Israeli entrepreneurs operating in Ciskei. 
Ephraim Poran, former Prime Minister Begin's military secretary, went in 
with two other major Israeli industrialists to establish the Ciskatex textile 
factory. Other enterprises taking advantage of Ciskei's cheap labor were a 
plant of the apparel company Indian Head, Oren Toys'' and Classic Cars, 
an establishment belonging to former Finance Minister Yoram Aridor, 
which manufactures vintage automobile replicas.'* 

In 1985, there were 200 Israelis— advisers and technicians as well as 
entrepreneurs— in Ciskei. '^ Ciskei presented special opportunities because 
of the exalted level of brutality of its leader Lennox Sebe, and his 
consequent insecurity. Bisho, the "capital" of Ciskei was "rife with stories 
of the 'fast buck' approach of Israeli entrepreneurs." '* An explicit look at 
their activities was provided in 1985, when a scandal burst into the 
international press as the "authorities" of Ciskei announced— via large 
advertisements in the Israeli press— that it had closed the bantustan's trade 
mission in Israel and fired its Israeli representatives. 

The scams in which many of the Israeli investors became involved 
were auctioning, or subcontracting, of contracts— many of these were 
awarded without bids, often far above actual cost— to South African 
companies. Many of the Israelis participating in these deals did so through 
shell companies. ■' 

A key contact for the Israelis was Dr. Hennie Beukes, the only white 
"minister"— his portfolio was "health"— in Ciskei's "cabinet," who was 
said to have acted as intermediary in many Israeli activities in Ciskei. These 

Israel and South Africa 73 

included two hospitals built by the Gur Construction Company which 
Ciskei rejected. (In their off hours, Gur's workers built a bar and swimming 
pool at Beukes' residence.) 

Buekes also arranged for a |10 million pilot training project, which 
sent 1 8 trainees to Israel to receive training that critics charged was inferior 
and overpriced. '8 It is unclear whether the training was for commercial or 
military aviation. A South African paper noted that Ciskei had two air 
bases and said Israeli Air Force instructors were to give preliminary 
training to Ciskeians before they attended pilot classes in Israel." 

Beukes also arranged the contracts for I sraeli mili tary advisers to work 

^±^2^£S^^^"^d^^^5^^SS^'^^^^SS'^^ Ciskei. One companyiTammus— its 
owner a former Isr aeli^artillejry officer -made 1300,000 a year providing 
security adv^^sers^tc^ was one of the first 

Israeli firms to have its Ciskeian contracts canceled.^' 

Ira Curtis, the Israeli owner of the flight school, also bribed the 
Ciskeians to choose U.S. aircraft, which he attempted to smuggle into the 
South African tribal reserve, over superior French aircraft.^^ The planes 
were bought for Ciskei by listing Israel on the sale documents.^' 

In 1 984, the Israeli government was forced to reassure Pretoria that it 
was not involved in a scheme for cheap Israeli flights from Ciskei to Israel 
and on to Europe. Word of the flights, which would compete with the 
government-owned South Africa Airways, had sparked a South African 
government protest to Israel. The apartheid regime warned that it would 
not be liable for Ciskei's debts for projects that were not in the category of 
"urgent development" and expressed its unease "over the intrusion of 
Israeli entrepreneurs and paramilitary advisers into its sphere of influence in 
the black homelands."^* The Israeli government then denied landing rights 
in Israel to Ciskei— even though Israeli entrepreneurs had convinced 
Ciskei's rulers to build an airstrip. 

Ciskei is not the only bantustan in which Israel and Israelis played a 
role. In 1 985, the president of the Development Bank of Southern Africa- 
former South African finance minister Owen Horwood— visited Israel and 
told reporters that he had come "to evaluate Israel's role in facilitating the 
economic development of the southern African independent states (i.e. 

Israel has invested |45 million in Bophuthatswana agriculture, and is 
training youth in that tribal reserve after the model of its own "Nahal" (a 
program combining military training with agricultural development)." 
Israel has also developed a television service for Bophuthatswana.^^ An 
Israeli, Ilan Sharon, served as a "special adviser" for the bantustan 
authorities . Israeli architects have signed contracts for major public edifices. 


An Israeli company has also moved into Bophuthatswana to manufacture 
sports shoes. 2' When Bophuthatswana opened a Tel Aviv office, Israeli 
officials were embarrassed. 3° 

Israeli security mercenaries also guard the casino tables at Sun City, the 
"interracial" gambling resort attached to the pseudo-state of Bophu- 

In early 1 983 the entire "chamber of commerce" of another bantustan, 
Venda, visited Israel.'^ 

The Israeli government is pulled two ways over the bantustans. On 
the one hand, there is a powerful "lobby" comprised of former officials and 
their associates who have investments in the pseudostates. To this must be 
added the obvious sympathy most Israeli officials must feel for the South 
African dilemma: no government in the world recognizes the benighted 
bantustans as the independent countries the racist regime has declared them 
to be. Israel has the same dilemma, in that not one government (including 
the U.S.) recognizes its claim to the occupied West Bank, to which it has 
given the spurious names Judea and Samaria, or, for that matter, (with the 
exception of Costa Rica and El Salvador) to East Jerusalem, which Israel 
captured from Jordan in 1967 and annexed as its capital in 1980. 

In 1984 during ceremonies held in the Israeli-occupied West Bank 
town of Ariel, twinning that settlement with Ciskei's "capital" Bisho, 
Ciskei's Israeli representative Yosef Schneider said, "It is symbolic that no 
country in the world (except South Africa) recognizes Ciskei, just as there 
IS no country in the world that recognizes the Jewish settlements in Judea 
and Samaria."" 

On the other hand, the Israelis are well aware that recognition of the 
bantustans would be an unbearable offense to the many African nations, 
which they have courted assiduously during the 1 980s. They tread a fine 

In its decision in August 1985 to establish close working ties with 
Mangosuthu Gatsha Buthelezi, chief minister of the KwaZulu bantustan, a 
patchwork of settlements in Natal, Israel seems to have ignored his status as 
the leader of the entity designated by Pretoria as the "tribal homeland" of 
the Zulu people. In the West this is also frequendy overlooked. 

When such heads of state as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher 
receive the urbane, wealthy and ambitious Buthelezi— he is a frequent 
visitor to the West, where he argues against the imposition of sanctions and 
badmouths the mainstream liberation organizations— they present him as a 
"moderate" black leader, opposed to the "violent" methods of the 
oudawed African National Congress (ANC). 

Israel and South Africa 75 

Chief Buthelezi speaks eloquently and sincerely against apartheid. 
According to a longtime friend of the descendant of Zulu royalty, Buthelezi 
(along with many of his Western promoters) sees himself as leader of a 
post-apartheid government. Presumably to further this goal, Buthelezi has 
developed ties across the entire spectrum of white South Africa. He has 
close links with the white opposition Progressive Federal Party, with 
which he tried in 1986 to design a multiracial government for Natal 
Province. Their plan called for a complex system of racial checks and 
balances, with overweighted guarantees for the white minority— Buthelezi 
has always promised to give whites a veto, as opposed to the ANC demand 
for universal suffrage— but the Pretoria government rejected it out of 

Although his disagreements with the Botha government have been 
widely heralded-Buthelezi has refused "independent" status for his 
bantustan and has refused to participate in "negotiations" over South 
Africa's future with the Botha regime-he has certainly been the witting 
instrument of the minority government, both during his trips abroad and 
during the turmoil of the past several years. 

In 1981, the Economist noted that 

Shrewd white strategists know that, sooner rather than later, the 
Afrikaner government will have to negotiate with the only 
coherent tribe larger than its own, the 5 million-strong Zulu... 
The tolerance of the political activities of Chief Buthelezi has 
deepened into private contacts between his Inkatha movement 
and the secret Afrikaner Broederbond.'^ 

The Broederbond has been the acknowledged manipulator of the ruling 
Nationalist Party. Inkatha is Buthelezi's political vehicle and means of 
patronage distribution. As polls taken over the years have shown, 
Buthelezi's following is trifling, even in Natal province, compared to that 
of the ANC, the United Democratic Front (UDF), or Nelson Mandela. 
Membership in Inkatha, which Buthelezi claims has one million members, 
is supposedly voluntary, but "strongly recommended for those living in 

In 1 983, the year the UDF was created, the murder of five University 
of Zululand students was traced to supporters of Buthelezi, in marked 
contrast to his "nonviolent" label.'^ Inkatha thugs, organized in bands 
called impis have frequently been reported to have attacked and often killed 
UDF protesters against the white government. 

Visiting South Africa in June 1986, Denis Healey, the British Labor 
Party's spokesman on foreign affairs, refused to meet with Buthelezi. 
Instead Healey cited sworn affadavits from vigiliante attack victims in the 


Durban area and showed newsmen a photograph of a member of the Zulu 
royal family (to which Buthelezi is related) leading impi vigilantes.'^ Later 
that month, with the nation under a lock-down that forbade any gathering, 
Pretoria allowed Buthelezi to hold a rally in Soweto, the black township 
outside Johannesburg. Thousands of Buthelezi's followers, some armed 
with traditional Zulu weapons, were bused in from Natal for the event." 

In December 1 986, Inkatha members were blamed for abducting and 
then shooting to death a shop steward of the Metal and Allied Workers 
along with another union member and the daughter of a third.*" 

During the period in which these incidents took place, no Israeli leader 
moved to dissociate the Tel Aviv government from the close ties it had 
established with Buthelezi in 1985. Indeed, Buthelezi's official visit to 
Israel began the day before a mob of armed impis, under the complacent 
eyes of government police, began an attack on their opponents in 
KwaMashu township in Natal. In the week of strife that followed, 66 
blacks died, of which the police admitted to having shot 36. The others, 
"stabbed and mutilated," were assumed to be victims of Inkatha."" 

That was in August 1985. Israel was at the time casting about for a 
way to deflect mounting criticism of its ties with South Africa. The 
criticism came from liberal Israelis who worried that Tel Aviv's South 
Africa policy was becoming noticably out of line with other Western states, 
and, more quietly, from the U.S., where South Africa's links with Israel 
were increasingly discussed on campuses and within anti-apartheid organi- 
zations, causing dismay on the liberal wing of organized Jewry. A poll of 
the Congressional Black Caucus underway at the time was revealing that 
those members of Congress and their constituents believed that Israel was a 
major backer of South Africa.i^ On August 5 Prime Minister Shimon Peres 
had been queried by Rep. Howard Wolpe (D-MI) and had assured him that 
Israel was against apartheid. In a separate meeting Yitzhak Shamir, then 
foreign minister, also assured Wolpe of Israel's "objections" to apartheid." 

It was never clear exactly who took the initiative for the Buthelezi 
visit— the South African embassy made phone calls to the Israeli media, 
askmg them to go easy on the chief minister, and the Jerusalem Post 
responded with particular alacrity, in one case crediting him for preventing 
a revolutionary explosion in South Africa and asserting that "the wrong 
South African [then Bishop Desmond Tutu] won the Nobel Prize for 
peace""— but for the Israeli government, his arrival was a godsend, even 
though he perpetuated his critical motif, calling for enforcement of the UN 
arms embargo against the white government.*' 

A wide range of the Israeli leadership held official meetings with the 
Zulu chief: Prime Minister Peres and Foreign Minister Shamir; former 

Israel and South Africa 77 

Labor Foreign Minister Abba Eban hosted a luncheon in his honor; 
Foreign Ministry Director-General David Kimche, Israel's most persistent 
critic of links with South Africa, agreed to help him.*^ The Israeli 
government and the Histadrut labor federation eagerly responded to 
Buthelezi's requests for assistance for KwaZulu, regarding the connection 
as "a new door into African development."''' Israel offered agricultural aid 
and a range of training including "leadership and trade union training in 
Israel, and assistance for women's organizations and cooperatives. 
Buthelezi said he had been assured that Israeli specialists would soon visit 
his bantustan.*' Yehuda Paz, director of Histadrut's Afro- Asian Institute, 
made plans with Buthelezi for the establishment of links between Histadrut 
and labor unions affiliated with Inkatha.™ 

The connection was somewhat odd, even for a labor aparatus like 
Histadrut, whose companies are active in South Africa, and whose unequal 
treatment of Arab workers is legendary. Buthelezi has made no bones about 
running his bantustan for the convenience of those who invest there. 
Although there is a KwaZulu labor bureau and a labor relations act, the 
average wage in 1985 was 1 00 rands a month (at the time less than $100), 
and workers who complain to the bureau find themselves blacklisted.^' In 
March 1986 the KwaZulu "government" announced that the "United 
Union of Workers of South Africa," widely perceived as a challenge to the 
powerful Congress of South African Trade Unions, or COSATU, would 
be launched that May." 

Israel presented its new relationship with Buthelezi as a look toward 
the future and a connection with South Africa's black majority. "Buthe- 
lezi's visit will give a boost to Israelis who would like to criticize apartheid 
without breaking off political and diplomatic relations with Pretoria," 
announced the Israeli government radio. Buthelezi, explained the state 
radio, "is more than a puppet. While he accepted the chief ministership of 
the KwaZulu homeland, he refused to have it declared independent like 
Ciskei or Bophuthatswana."" Few critical observers find the distinction a 
meaningful one. 

A Weapon Against the ANC 

Nonetheless, Israel's newly forged links with Buthelezi provided its 
supporters in the U.S. with fresh ammunition to use against critics of 
Israel's relations with South Africa. Near East Report, the weekly 
publication of AIPAC, celebrated Buthelezi's visit as "the first by a leading 


South African opposition leader," and quoted Buthelezi's parting words: 
he was "encouraged and inspired by the complete abhorrence which.. .the 
Israeli people have for apartheid, and the commitment of the Israeli people 
to its destruction."^* For AIPAC, which often sets the pace for other U.S. 
Jewish organizations, the quote was welcome relief from the old chestnut 
from Andrew Young, which has been used unremittingly for years: 

It is unfair to link Israel to South Africa. If there is a link, you 
must compare Britain, Germany, Japan, and the United States. 
All of them have links with South Africa. Israel becomes a too 
easy scapegoat for other problems we have."" 

Unlike Young, who left the Carter Administration (only several 
weeks before Israel and South Africa detonated a nuclear weapon) with the 
Israeli government in hot pursuit after he had met with the PLO's 
representative to the United Nations," Buthelezi continued to provide 
valuable copy. "Israel is indeed a land of miracles," he told a Jewish 
Telegraphic Agency OTA) reporter, who tagged the KwaZulu leader as a 
possible first black president of South Africa.^' 

The interview Buthelezi gave JTA served to justify Israel's linkage 
with South Africa, and, as it consisted mostly of a hot diatribe against his 
sworn rival, the ANC, it delivered the message of the white government in 
Pretoria to the U.S. Jewish community on the respectable pages of such 
publications as the Washington DC Jewish Week. 

"I would say that Libya's Col. Muammar Qaddafi is today part of the 
ANC," offered the Zulu chief, a propos of nothing in particular. 

"The ANC describes itself as anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic, like many 
African groups. But anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same 
thing, I have always found," propounded Buthelezi. In a lengthy aside, 
interviewer Levine informs his American readers that 

Buthelezi's friendship for Israel is music to the ears of the many 
South African Jewish leaders, who have grown increasingly 
concerned over the prospects of an ultimate ANC victory and 
the establishment of a pro-Soviet regime.^^ 

The Washington Jewish Week published the Buthelezi interview as 
part of a front page spread which delivered a clear message— straight from 
Israel: "Israeli officials are reluctant to criticize the ANC publicly for fear of 
appearing pro-apartheid. Privately, however, they freely share their 
growing concern over the prospect of an ANC takeover." The spread 
containing the Buthelezi interview appeared at the same time a wider effort 
was set in motion by the right wing of organized Jewry to defame the 

Israel and South Africa 79 

In May 1 986 the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith ( A DD had 
circulated its newsletter to members of Congress with a front page headline 
promising "A Closer Look" at the ANC. The piece was written in old- 
time McCarthyist style, as if for an audience not aware that most industrial 
democracies have communist parties which contest and win elections. 

Although the ADL built its reputation on original research on racist 
hate groups, the article it sent to Congress was simply a collection of 
clippings on the ANC and "evidence" from testimony given at 1982 
hearings conducted by far-right Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R-AL), arranged 
to "prove" that "the ANC is oriented toward the Soviet Union and its East 
Bloc allies, who have furnished it with arms, funding, military training and 
other logistic support."^' 

The ADL did not trouble to set forth the context of what it described 
as the 30-year alliance between the ANC and the South African Com- 
munist Party, for years the only multiracial anti-apartheid organizations in 
South Africa. Besides, the article was in error about the length of the 
association. "It's been 65 years, not 30," noted Lifford Cengue, a West 
Coast representative of the ANC, explaining that the alliance between the 
two organizations goes back to 1 92 1 , the year the SACP was founded, and 
has been public knowledge since that time. Cengue pointed out that the 
ANC was founded in 1912, "before the October Revolution." 

The ADL article also delved into the ties between the ANC and the 
PLO, an organization with few defenders in Congress. 

As a revolutionary national liberation movement oriented 
toward Moscow, the ANC has long echoed Soviet attempts to 
undermine the legitimacy of Israel. Moreover, the ANC is a 
strident supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization. 

It noted that some ANC members "trained in the USSR with PLO cadres" 
and refers to statements critical of Israeli policy made during the 1 970s by 
Oliver Tambo.*" As have many governments and international organiza- 
tions, the ANC has long been critical of Israel's treatment of the 
Palestinians under occupation; its criticism has been informed by Israel's 
close ties with South Africa. The ADL's assault on the ANC came at a time 
when Congressmembers of both parties were calling for the release of 
imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela, and the State Department was 
moving toward contacts with the ANC.^' 

The ADL article had great value for friends of South Africa, as well as 
apologists for Israel's ties to the apartheid regime. As Sniith Hempstone 
commented approvingly in the Washington Times, which is generally 
acknowledged to support the white minority government: 


None of this [the ADL's "findings"] is particularly original 
stuff. The same points have been made many times by this 
columnist. But when B'nai B'rith gets into the game, congress- 
men who know on which side their political bagels are buttered 
are likely to sit up and take notice.*^ 

In the same issue of Washington's Jewish Week that carried the 
interview with Buthelezi was a second piece of propaganda authored by 
Charley Levine, this one titled to play on a prevalent theme of the times: 
"Arab Terrorists Aid South African Groups." And it was a far more 
sophisticated job than the ADL's smear job, admitting, for instance, that 
Sweden contributed more to the ANC than the Soviet Union. Along with 
some of the same data employed by the ADL, Levine concocted his piece 
on the seemingly authoritative statements of unnamed "Israeli and South 
African intelligence sources." (Perhaps they were the source for a rather 
singular item included by Levine about black South African Muslims 
forming Libyan "hit teams.") 

Levine wrote of instances when he says the PLO gave military 
training to the ANC — the one about the training of parachutists is 
particularly interesting given that the USSR has not provided the ANC 
with the kind of aeronautical assistance Israel has given South Africa— and 
confided that "Israeli experts on international terrorism" have concluded 
that the ANC's tactics are similar to those of the PLO." 

These journalistic efforts were made just as anti-apartheid activists 
were intensifying their lobbying of Congress for sanctions against South 

Soon after Buthelezi's departure, Israel would host another group of 
South African blacks — and again use the opportunity to demonstrate its 
"anti-apartheid" credentials, without, of course, jarring its vital links to 
white Pretoria. 

Political and Cultural Ties 

Friends Hunt "Authentic" Blacks for Israel 

In Los Angeles in 1984, a gathering at the home of Tom Hayden, 
former Chicago Seven radical, currently a member of the California State 
Assembly, and his wife, actress Jane Fonda, left a bitter taste. Guest of 
honor Bishop Desmond Tutu had lambasted Israel that night for its support 
of South Africa and Jewish guests took issue with his remarks. 

Afterwards, a "deeply disturbed" Tom Hayden consulted Prof. 
Steven Spiegel, a Middle East specialist at UCLA about a remedy for "an 
ever deepening antagonism of South African blacks towards Israel." 

Four years earlier Speigel had started a think tank, the Center for 
Foreign Policy Options (CFPO),' but in 1 986 it was virtually unknown to 
the foreign affairs community in Los Angeles.^ After talking to Hayden, 
Spiegel went to Israel, spoke with a variety of leaders, and developed a plan. 
He selected Shimshon Zelniker, a professor at Beit Berl, the Labor Party's 
college, to be "field director." 

After strenuous attempts, Tom Hayden persuaded then-Bishop Tutu 
to meet with Zelniker, whose way the CFPO then paid to South Africa. 
There, in June 1985, Zelniker met with Tutu and a number of his 
associates. They were harshly critical of Israel.' The Nobel laureate who 
would later be appointed Archbishop of Cape Town accused the Israelis of 
having a "monopoly on the Holocaust'"'— that is, ignoring or down- 



playing the sufferings of other peoples. Ultimately Zelniker was able to sell 
the group on CFPO's idea of bringing groups of black South Africans to 
Israel for what might loosely be called leadership training. Bishop Tutu 
refused to become involved.^ 

In January Shimshon Zelniker went back to South Africa to select 
trainees. It proved difficult to recruit black leaders whose authenticity was 
widely recognized in their communities. Not one of the nine men and 
eleven women Zelniker signed up would admit to membership with the— 
legal and mainstream— United Democratic Front. Yehuda Paz, Director of 
the Histadrut's Afro-Asian Institute which ran the program, called them 
"leaders in the struggle against apartheid."' Paz and Zelniker, it should be 
noted, had also met with Chief Buthelezi when he was in Israel. 

In April 1 986, the trainees arrived in Israel to take part in a workshop, 
which, given by Histadrut, was entitled "The Role of People's Organiza- 
tions in Community Building and National Development." According to 
Israeli officials it was designed to provide the students with skills they 
would need in the event of a transition to black rule in South Africa. 
Oblivious— or antagonistic— to the rapidly developing South African 
trade union movement, the training program Histadrut devised for the 
visitors "focus[ed] on unionizing the country's 1 2 million black laborers."^ 
Meanwhile, Tom Hayden and CFPO's fundraiser had been promo- 
ting the project in Israel.^ They gained the endorsement of the Israeli 
government' and the Israeli foreign ministry defrayed part of the expenses 
of one of Shimshon Zelniker's trips to South Africa.'" CFPO also brought 
Zelniker to the U.S. to describe his work to Jewish organizations." 

While the CPFO planned to spend $1 million over a period of two 
years on the transportation, living expenses and training programs in Israel 
for 6 to 12 additional groups of South African trainees, many questions 
remain unanswered about the project's relationship to the South African 
government— especially since part of its function appears to be to 
propagandize for South Africa in the U.S. 

In addition to Prof. Spiegel, CFPO's members include Edward 
Sanders, an adviser on Middle East and Jewish affairs to President Carter, 
Osias S. Goren (CFPO's chairman and chief fundraiser), who headed 
Jewish efforts for President Reagan's 1980 and 1984 campaigns, and 
Maxwell F. Greenberg, honorary chairman of the ADL, which has so 
reviled the ANC.'^ 

Tom Hayden's role is also puzzling. Hayden, whose first foray into 
California electoral politics was a losing primary race against Sen. John 
Tunney (ironically, a leading foe of South Africa, whose defeat in the 
general election was partly attributed to South African contributions to 

Israel and South Africa 


his Republican opponent S.I. Hayakawa), revealed in 1 986 that during his 
anti-war activities in the 1960s, he had cooperated with U.S. intelligence 
agents and had had intensive talks with CIA agents. 

During his three terms in the California state legislature, Hayden has 
gradually eased away from his left-liberal identification. In 1986, he 
dissolved his Campaign for Economic Democracy (funded by the profits 
from Fonda's fitness video royalties, it had, charged many critics, become 
simply an electoral vehicle for "Tom") and set up a new personal 
organization called Campaign California. 

Well ahead of his metamorphosis, Hayden had established himself as a 
leading promoter of Israel. During the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, he and 
his wife visited Israeli troops on the front lines. This maneuver, during 
Hayden's first assembly campaign, was intended to appeal to the great 
numbers of Jews in his district, 

Hayden's involvement with the recruitment of black South African 
trainees for Israel is not, however, the kind of activity designed for mass 
voter appeal. It seems more in the nature of a quiet favor. 

There is no question that the Israeli government would be pleased 
with CFPO's project; it was a propaganda success, with all the major North 
American newspapers covering it extensively and favorably. Through 
their Histadrut instructors, Israel could establish and maintain contact with 
the trainees— useful in the event that the minority government is over- 
thrown, and also useful for sharing intelligence with the minority 

Was Pretoria well served by the Histadrut endeavor? That the white 
regime did not lift the passports of the attendees prior to their departure'^ 
suggests that the project enjoys at least benign indifference, if not Pretoria's 
actual support. 

It was obvious that Israel had to tread carefully. During the mid-June 
1 986 state of emergency in South Africa, when Israel was casting about for 
ways to portray itself as opposed to apartheid, some of the Israelis involved 
with the project: 

were wary of recommending that Israel adopt any "crisis 
approach" or abrupt break with Pretoria; the white govern- 
ment's retaliation might mean an end to the new ties with Black 
organizations before they were properly off the ground.'* 

As the interactions with Buthelezi and the "leaders in the struggle 
against apartheid" who came to Israel for training indicate, the exact nature 
of the political linkage between Israel and South Africa, the ties that bind 
over and above the military and economic quid pro quos, is concealed, left to 


be deduced by the observer. That those ties are close and rich can be gauged 
by the sports, cultural and diplomatic exchanges countenanced by Israel. 

Breaking the Sports and Cultural Blockade 

Israel has made a practice of ignoring international boycotts against 
South Africa. Since the late 1960s a steady stream of athletes and 
performers have gone from Israel to South Africa. According to a report 
issued by the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid in 
1979, the continuing sports contacts had "strong encouragement by the 
Government of Israel, "i^ In fact, this report chronicled a revealing episode 
of Israeli policymaking concerning sports and apartheid. 

On January 21,1979, amidst rumors that the Soviet Union might try 
to block Israel's participation in the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, the 
presidium of the Israeli Olympics Committee voted unanimously to cut off 
sports exchanges with South Africa "at least until after the Olympics." The 
committee told the Israeli gymnastics team to cancel an upcoming visit. 

Two days later at a plenary session— with the director of the 
government's sports authority in attendance— that decision was overturned 
and it was further decided that any Israeli sports boycott of South Africa 
would be limited to compliance with the rules of international sports 
organizations, '8 which have always lagged behind the efforts to isolate 
South Africa undertaken by many athletes and anti-apartheid organiza- 
tions. Several days later a representative of the Foreign Ministry told the 
Knesset that the decision to boycott had hurt Israel's relations with South 
Africa. 1' 

Disagreement on policy on sports exchanges with South Africa has 
continued to the present, with Israel displaying a considerable degree of 
ambivalence— or, alternatively, making a show of opposition to sports 
contacts for the benefit of its anti-apartheid supporters. 

On the one hand, in its own struggle to gain access to international 
sports, Israel has made a great effort to conceal its sports exchanges with the 
apartheid regime. Israel itself has been barred from participation in, among 
others, the European soccer confederation and the Olympic Council of 
Asia, an exclusion made all the more bitter by the admission to that body of 
the Palestine Olympic Committee.^" 

On the other hand, Israel must apparently continue to cater to South 
Africa. In one 1985 instance, the Maccabiah Games (the quadrennial 
"Jewish Olympics," which brings national Jewish teams to Israel), these 

Israel and South Africa 85 

two exigencies clashed, then merged in a clever piece of duplicity. South 
African teams had been among the largest contingents in the 1973, 1977 
and 1981 Maccabiah Games. 

In 1985, however, Canada and some other countries objected to 
participating along with a South African team. After the South African 
Zionist Federation and the director of the Israeli Maccabiah Committee 
mounted a vigorous protest of this instance of mixing politics and sports,^' 
the South Africans abruptly withdrew "so as to avoid serious problems for 
athletes from a number of participating countries." In announcing the 
South Africans' withdrawal, the Israeli Maccabiah director hinted that 
something would "happen" so that they could attend the games after all.^^ 
That something transpired in the form of 200 "potential immigrant" visas 
issued by the Israeli consul in Pretoria to the South African athletes. On the 
strength of these documents, usually issued to people who want to try out 
life in Israel, the quasi-governmental Jewish Agency registered the South 
Africans as "temporary residents."^' They were then, with 20 legitimate 
immigrants, formed as a special team of newcomers to Israel. 

It was not until the games were almost at an end that one of the phony 
immigrants blurted out the truth. By the time the ruse had hit the press, the 
games were over. Only later did it become known that the organizers of the 
games had plotted the whole subterfuge during a meeting in 1984. 2* 

Yet another sports encounter had all the earmarks of a well-rehearsed 
"good cop/bad cop" routine. In November 1986, Israel's top three male 
tennis stars — its national Davis Cup team — went to compete in the South 
African Open. It was their second trip there in 1986, and their names had 
been on international boycott lists long before that.^^ One of the three, the 
young and rising Amos Mansdorf, won the tournament." 

Almost immediately the Foreign Ministry sent a "reprimand" to the 
Israel Tennis Authority.^' The head of that body retorted that the 
International Tennis Federation's rules concerning South Africa only 
apply to to teams, not individuals, and that the Israeli players had gone as 

The ministry hit back with phone calls from the political director 
general, reminding the heads of sports organizations about Israel's 
"opposition to 'all participation' by Israelis in South Africa. "^^ and 
suggested that private trips in the future should be "coordinated" with the 
foreign ministry. In an editorial called "The hypocrisy syndrome" the 
Jerusalem Post wondered why the foreign ministry had professed surprise to 
discover the tennis players had been to South Africa. 

The true surprise is to learn that it is now national policy to keep 
contracts with South Africa down to a minimum. 



If the government, of which the foreign ministry and its 
officials are presumably a part, wants to shift Israel's policy on 
South Africa, let it say so. If not, then the foreign ministry has 
ample other targets in that increasingly queer contrivance called 
Israel's foreign policy, on which to direct its self-right- 

It is more likely that, with all the bases covered— to metaphorically mix 
sports — there was satisfaction all around. 

Meanwhile, the flow of Israeli entertainers to South Africa has 
continued unabated, suggesting that Israel really can't say no. A list of 24 of 
these cultural emissaries covering the period between August 1981 and 
April 1 985 tops by one a similar list of performers from West Germany,^'' 
one of South Africa's major trading partners and a nation with a population 
of 61 million, compared to Israel's 4 million. 

After 1984, when the international cultural boycott against South 
Africa became highly effective, Israel continued to supply diversions to the 
apartheid state. In April 1 985 Yardene Arazi, a popular Israeli singer, went 
to South Africa to organize a celebration of Israel's independence day.'' 

Most tellingly, in July 1986— one month after South Africa had 
clamped down a brutal state of emergency— Israeli Foreign Minister and 
Alternate Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir cleared the Israel Chamber 
Orchestra for a tour of South Africa. Shamir also recommended that two 
South African choirs be allowed to take part in a song festival in Israel. One 
of the South African choirs was a white boys' ensemble; the other was a 
black group from Bophuthatswana. The festival organizers had urged the 
decision on the government in advance of the South Africans' request to 
come to Israel. According to the festival manager, the decision was based on 
a variation of the old South African standby: "no room to mix music and 

The following month South Africans also participated in a puppet 
festival in Jerusalem." 

More intimate than players on the field or stars on stage, Israeli-South 
African relations also proceed along that corridor established by govern- 
ments for people-to-people contacts by their citizens. In late 1984, a Ben 
Gurion University organization called the Associates of South Africa drew 
attention for its active promotion of cultural and scientific exchanges.'^ 

Haifa and Cape Town are sister cities, and there are frequent 
exchanges of various sorts between the two cities and their universities. 

Israel and South Africa 87 


Israeli tourism in South Africa has defied international trends, 
growing 50 percent between 1981 and the end of 1985,'* and rising by 12.5 
percent during the first six months of 1985 alone.'^ This was undoubtedly 
providential, as tourism to South Africa had just about dried up, with 1985 
hotel occupancy reaching an eleven-year low.'^ South Africa was the first 
government to establish a tourism office in Israel, but it is quite likely that 
the tone established by the government in Tel Aviv is equally responsible 
for the high rate of Israeli travel to the apartheid state. (Pretoriais iond of 
nabbing tourists for interviews on its external radj^o^ervice; all these 
visitors swear that they've ha JTfinenm^eincI weren't even aware that there 
was anything unpleasant going on.) 

The 1 986 tourism event of the year had to have been "Malchi's dream 
holiday on board the luxurious cruise ship Achille Lauro to South Africa," 
which sailed November 26 from the Israeli port of Ashdod. A year earlier 
the Italian liner had been hijacked on the way to Ashdod, an event resulting 
in the murder of a disabled American, Leon Klinghoffer; the U.S. hijacking 
of the plane on which the ship's hijackers were traveling to their negotiated 
freedom; and the fall of the government of Italy, where the plane was forced 
down. (Another casualty of that week was Alex Odeh, Southern Regional 
Director of the American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, killed by 
a bomb the morning after a television appearance during which he had 
stressed the desire for peace of PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat.) Malchi 
Shipping Tours and Travel Ltd. of Haifa promised stops in the Seychelles 
and Durban and a tour through Kruger Park, Cape Town, Johannesburg 
and Sun City, the notorious entertainment complex in the bantustan called 
Bophuthatwana. "World known Italian cuisine," enticed Malchi's adver- 
tisement, "more surprises every day!" The advertisement bore the logos of 
SAX£>UR, and^AA, the South African government's tourism agency and 
its airline.^' 

There was also a 30 percent increase of South Africans traveling to 
Israel between July and September 1986. In October 1986 (when 
detentions under the state of emergency were being estimated in the 
thousands), the Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Tourism made a 
secret trip to South Africa. Rafi Farber "met important South African 
travel agents and discussed with them the possibility of increasing bilateral 
tourism through a public relations and marketing campaign." Farber also 
wanted South Africa to increase its investment in Israel's tourist sector.*" 


It is possible that a series of articles, "South Africa Without Prejudice," 
extolling South Africa— with all the usual phrases about the rapid pace of 
"reform" underway in South Africa and the "complexities" of the situation 
there— that appaeared in the Jerusalem Post's weekend magazine in Novem- 
ber and early December 1986 were one result of those talks.*' 

How exactly do the citizens in question regard their governments' 
moves to bring them together? Strongly enough— on both sides— to come 
out and demonstrate. The Mapam Party has picketed a performance by 
visiting South African entertainers.'*^ 

Israeli supporters of South Africa — among them many immigrants 
from the Soviet Union— have also come out to wave their banners 
proclaiming that "South Africa Has Been Israel's Ally.'"" In late 1985 after 
Israeli leftists had mounted several attention-getting demonstrations pro- 
testing the assignment of a new ambassador to South Africa,*'' 60 
supporters of the white government met in the presence of the South 
African ambassador to Israel and formed an Israeli-South African Friend- 
ship League.*^ 

What exactly does Israel get out of its alliance with South Africa that it 
is willing to spit in the face of the very international community it is trying 
to beguile.' This question is likely to provoke the snap response that Israel 
and South Africa have so much in common, from their militarism to their 
racism to their intransigence and thus their consequent isolation from the 
main current of the human family. Or, it might be offered, Israel is eager to 
have its cake and eat it too— a feat which it can accomplish as long as its 
appetite and its tenacity do not impede its relations with its main protector, 
the United States. 

Something else should be considered, however: blackmail. Several 
observers believe that it would more damaging for Tel Aviv to attempt to 
extricate itself from its involvement than to continue pandering to South 
Africa. "They say to Israel 'Look, if you don't continue with this 
relationship on every level, we're going to blow the guff on you,' " Michael 
Wade, a professor of African Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem 
said to National Public Radio. Himself of South African birth. Wade said 
the South Africans were quite capable of embarassing Israel before the 
world by revealing details of the relationship.*^ Others believe that South 
Africa might be able to make trouble for Israel with Washington by 
revealing intelligence or technology thefts. Another possibility is that 
Israel's involvement in Muldergate went much father than has yet been 
revealed and includes various manipulations of the U.S. media and the 
electoral process. 

Israel and South Africa 89 

A hint of such a South African hold on Israel came in October 1984 
when an Israeli paper, Ma'ariv, noted that Pretoria had requested the Israeli 
Foreign Ministry to "provide the exact wording" of a statement about 
apartheid Prime Minister Peres had made during a visit to the U.S. Press 
accounts of the remarks credited Peres with calling apartheid "a stupid 

The Link Feeds on U.S. Tolerance 

There was really no "South Africa problem" for Israel as long as 
Washington was willing to declare in the face of damning evidence that the 
white regime was reforming itself, just as there was absolutely no problem 
for Israel as long as an avowedly anti-apartheid Congress continued simply 
to mumble its self-imposed collective ignorance of Israel's dealings with the 
apartheid government, and was willing to accept without challenge the 
Carter Administration's short-circuited investigation of the 1979 Israeli- 
South African nuclear weapons test. 

In late 1986, however, its indissoluble bonds with Pretoria began to 
give Israel moments of profound discomfort. Ronald Reagan's supportive 
policy of "constructive engagement" was wearing thin, as South Africa 
declared its cataclysmic June state of emergency and jailed thousands of its 
critics, while escalating its attacks on neighboring countries. Before the 
year was over. Congress, motivated by an almost unanimous citizenry, 
would pass its first real anti-apartheid legislation— and then pass it again 
over the President's veto. 

A little noticed Section 508 of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid 
Act of 1 986 contained language that demanded a White House report to the 
House and Senate within 1 80 days of the legislation's passage "containing a 
detailed assessment of the economic and other relationships of other 
industrialized democracies with South Africa." 

This amendment — authored by retiring Republican Senate Foreign 
Relations Committee member Charles McC. Mathias— was "clearly a 
threat to Israel," according to the Jerusalem Post,'^^ raising the possibility of a 
cutoff of Israel's U.S. military aid.*' It came on the heels of another jolt, a 
decision by the European Community (EC) to impose an array of limited 
sanctions on South Africa. 

Previously, Israel had temporized on the possibility of sanctions, but 
the government had frequently alluded to Israel's conformity to the 
(dastardly) positions of the Western powers: "keeping in line with what the 


Western countries are doing, no more and no less," was how a senior Israeli 
diplomat phrased it in July 1986.^" The West African nation of Cameroon 
had just been persuaded to establish formal diplomacy with Tel Aviv, and 
Israel, making urgent efforts to engineer a domino effect, was working hard 
to convince African countries of the sincerity of its opposition to 

Taking all these factors into account, it apparently became expedient 
to order a "reassessment" of Israel's South Africa policy. In late August "a 
special internal discussion" on Israeli ties to South Africa was convened by 
the Director-General of the Foreign Ministry David Kimche. Kimche, 
who had always been a public critic of ostentatious contacts with South 
Africa and the bantustans, warned that Israel must prepare for the 
possibility that the West would impose stringent sanctions on South 
Africa." Out of these discussions came a reaffirmation of the policy of 
"stay[ing] in line with the Western democracies." A large loophole was left, 
however, because of Israel's "special" concern for the South African Jewish 

This concern has frequently been debunked as "patent nonsense" and 
"inexcusably shortsighted"^*— during one heated round of discussion on 
the validity of using South African Jews as an excuse, a former director of 
Israel's foreign ministry noted that the South African Jewish community 
itself was "compromised. passive collaboration with the evil of 
apartheid""— but it remains Israel's second line of defense after its ritual 
denunciations of apartheid. 

Another Israeli concern about sanctions is that once a precedent is 
established, Israel will also be subject to an international attempt at behavior 
modification. "We have no reason to highlight our relations with South 
Africa, but we have no wish to join sanctions either, the likes of which have 
often been employed against Israel," said Prime Minister Shamir." 

.-Eili.E.JHa,user, an influential figure in the U.S. Jewish community, 
embedded the identical point in a more sophisticated rationale for a hands- 
off policy toward Israel and South Africa: 

The sense of embattlement and isolation felt by these two 
Western-oriented nations comes in no small part from the 
policies of the Western Alliance. The United States and its 
NATO allies, in recent years, have not been able to separate 
clearly the pressures put upon them by black Africa and the 
Arab states with respect to the internal policies of South Africa 
and Israel from the external, geopolitical situation now operative 
in the Middle East and southern Africa. Even if they are correct 
in the conviction that Israel must yield control over the West 

Israel and South Africa 9 1 

Bank to some form of Palestinian nationalism and that South 
Africa must devise a method of sharing power with the blacks, 
there is no justification for policies which isolate and weakeii 
these two countries to the detriment of vital Western interests." 

After a time that reassessment was forgotten, only to emerge again 
with a spurious offer to phase out military contracts with South Africa over 
the coming years^s several weeks before the April 1 date set for the 
submission of the report stipulated by the 1986 anti-apartheid act. The 
U.S. followed the EC with the imposition of even stiffer sanctions and the 
world learned that Israel had supplied South Africa with refueling aircraft. 

Some day, maybe not until the next century, someone will talk about 
what it was that kept Israel dancing to the apartheid government's tune. At 
present it is very clear that Israel will not have to exert itself very hard to 
convince Congress that it has stopped dealing with Pretoria (a poignant 
task, since Israel has never officially admitted its military and economic 
sanctions busting). Should the moment come, Israel will have to employ all 
its wiles to buttress what will predictably be Congress' easy credulity 
against an outcry from activists. 

Part II 

Israel and Central America 

El Salvador 

Introduction: Central America 

A world away from South Africa, Israel's activities in Central America 
come more clearly under the aegis of the U.S., the seigneurial power in the 
region, which sets up dictators in some nations and targets the governments 
of others for destruction — and then, under pressure by Congress and the 
U.S. public, sometimes abandons its allies. Yet, even when Israel picks up 
the slack for Washington, its role in Central America is seldom if ever that 
of an out-and-out proxy or surrogate. 

In the 1970s, Israel was attracted to the troubled region by the 
opportunity to sell weapons and military advice, and perhaps to pick up 
some diplomatic chits. At the present, however, aside from supplying arms 
and training to the contra mercenary forces the Reagan Administration has 
flung against Nicaragua, the imposition of "pacification" regimes — some 
of this work is financed with U.S. funds — on the rural populations of El 
Salvador and Guatemala appears to be replacing arms sales as Israel's most 
significant function in the region. 

Rural "pacification," as it was used in Vietnam and as it is now being 
applied in Central America, is an attempt to suppress forever a people's 
ability to organize against an oppressive order. Israel's involvement with 
pacification is carried out in the guise of the innovative technical assistance 
programs it brought to African, Asian, and Latin American countries in the 
1960s. Even those U.S. officials opposed in prmciple to intervention in 
Central America don't seem to care about it. 



In fact, in 1985 and 1986 one prominent Democratic liberal actually 
helped Israel set up some agricultural projects right on the perimeter of the 
war against Nicaragua, which, after four years of Reaganite subversion, 
had spread out over a great part of Honduras and Costa Rica. 

The Democrat was Howard Herman of Los Angeles, a congressman 
with a sterling record of votes against aid to the contras and aid to the 
U.S.-backed government in El Salvador. In 1984, Berman drafted legisla- 
tion mandating the United States-Israel Cooperative Development Re- 
search, or CDR, a made-for-Israel program whose stated purpose was "to 
help meet a growing demand for Israel's unique technical assistance," and 
to "build ties between Israel and developing countries."' 

In testimony given during a hearing on Herman's legislation, which 
sought $20 million of U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) 
funds, it was pointed out that such a project would help "strengthen Israel's 
relations with the Third World. Ultimately CDR was funded at |2 
million for 1985. Congress gave it |5 million for fiscal 1986. 

In late 1 985, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency OTA) wrote a glowing 
article about Israel's CDR activities, mentioning cashews being improved 
in Thailand, forest fungi research in Ghana, and similar projeas-in. 
Portugal, the Philippines, and Malawi. The article mentioned that funding 
for each project was limited to $150,000.3 

Not mentioned by the JTA, and, while not classified, informally 
shielded from public view, were three other Israeli "research" projects— in 
Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador— all funded under CDR by U.S 
AID, at a total of $850,000. 

At $393,000 the Costa Rican project was more than double the 
1150,000 cap. Papers relating to the project described it as a two year 
assignment for two Israeli technicians to help a newly-established private 
growers association to find the most suitable export crops for irrigated 
growing (an Israeli specialty). The site of this scientific activity was 
Guanacaste, at the time an area of heavy contra activity near the border 
with Nicaragua. Another part of the project was to study tomato-growing 
techniques in other Central American countries. 

In Honduras $360,000 was budgeted for two Israeli irrigation experts 
to set up demonstration sprinkler and drip irrigation system in Choluteca, a 
city close to the border with Nicaragua, in an area of significant contra 

A more modest program in El Salvador was focused on labor intensive 
export fruit and vegetable production. (Labor intensive nontraditional 
export produce is a key element of Israeli ' 'pacification" doctrine in Central 

Israel and Central America 97 

America.) This project was to be coordinated through FUSADES, which a 
Central America specialist identified as a Salvadoran "think tank." 

In all three projects, the Israeli experts were government employees, 
assigned by Mashav, the Israeli equivalent of U.S. AID. Certainly the three 
projects were ideal opportunities for Israeli civil servants to work among 
the local population, and should Washington and Tel Aviv agree, to gather 
intelligence that might be inaccessible to an identifiable "gringo." In the 
Honduran project, the local government was to provide the Israeli experts 
with, among other services, contact with farmers and laborers.'* 

In their time frame of the heyday of the activity that became known as 
the Iran-contra scandal (in which Israel was a major player) and "low 
intensity conflict"^ and in terms of the sordid history of Israel's involve- 
ment in Central America, the three CDR projects appear relatively 
mnocuous. It is Rep. Herman's role that is surprising— or maybe just 

When questioned in May 1986, Herman's office acknowledged a 
continuing connection with CDR. When asked whether the Congressman 
would endorse his legislation funding projects in Central America, Lise 
Hartman, Herman's legislative assistant for foreign policy, said the question 
was an "interesting" one to have raised. 

However, said Hartman, it was raised at "a bad time" and no one in the 
office "not even the person working on it, would have details" on the 
program for the next few weeks. At that time, she continued. Rep. Berman 
would begin meetings with representatives from AID and from the Israeli 
government to determine the details of the program for fiscal 1987. All 
three parties, Hartman said, would have a say in setting the direction of 

This story raises some profound questions for those constitutents who 
endorsed Herman, voted for him, perhaps even campaigned to elect him, 
and who also support Salvadorans and Guatemalans struggling for 
liberation and the sovereignty of the Nicaraguan government. Does Rep. 
Herman— and dozens of others like him— think he has done right by his 
anti-mtervention constituents by voting as they wish a few times and then 
attempting to please other sectors with a claim on his allegiance, letting the 
contradictions fall where they may.' 

What Congressperson— for that matter, what movement leader— has 
ever said, above a mumble or a whisper, that passing U.S. victims on to 
Washington's close ally Israel for further target practice was morally and 
politically unacceptable.' There have been vast stretches of silent space in 
the Central America policy of the United States; the Carter Adminis- 
tration's human rights policy of aid cutoffs to especially gory U.S. clients 


opened further tracts. Israel has often filled these gaps, serving its own 
interests and, on occasion, the interests of far right sectors of the U.S. 

El Salvador 

From its earliest attempts to establish itself as an arms exporter, Israel 
had enjoyed the patronage of the military of El Salvador, which ruled that 
small, densely-populated country on the Pacific side of the Central 
American isthmus on behalf of a powerful plantation oligarchy. 

In 1973 Israel took orders from El Salvador for 1 8 Dassault Ouragan 
jet fighter aircraft. Israel had obtained these planes from France for its own 
use. Refurbished and delivered to El Salvador in 1 975, they were the first 
jet fighters in Central America, representing a significant jump in the level 
of military sophistication in a region where war had flared between 
Honduras and El Salvador in 1969. 

Other aircraft ordered from Israel by El Salvador in 1 973 included six 
French-made Fouga Magister trainers and 25 Arava short-take-off-and- 
landing aircraft. The Arava is produced by Israeli Aircraft Industries (I AI) 
and is advertised for a variety of uses — from hauling cargo, to medical 
evacuation, to transporting troops in counterinsurgency warfare. The 
Salvadorans also bought a quantity of small arms, ammunition and rocket 

Military links with El Salvador actually began around 1972, when the 
Israeli Defense Ministry carried out a youth movement development 
program there.^ Alongside their arms sales, the Israelis also sent advisers to 
El Salvador. Former Salvadoran Army Col. and Undersecretary of the 
Interior Rene Francisco Guerra y Guerra recalled that during the 1970s 
ANSESAL, the Salvadoran secret poHce, had security advisers from Israel. 
According to Guerra, as a low-ranking ANSESAL officer, Roberto 
D'Aubuisson, who would later rise to prominence as leader of a far-right 
faction linked to death squads, was a student of the Israeli instructors.' 

At least one Salvadoran officer. Col. Sigifredo Ochoa was taught by 
Israeli trainers in El Salvador and also went to Israel for training in the 
mid- 1 970s. Ochoa, who was credited with a massacre of civilians in 1 98 1 
made no secret of his preference for his Israeli mentors over the U.S. 
advisers who came to El Salvador after 1981. The Americans, he noted 
scornfully, "lost the war in Vietnam." During the Israeli siege of Beirut in 
1982, Ochoa proffered an "Israeli solution" for Central America: a 

Israel and Central America 99 

combined assault by El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and the anti- 
Nicaragua contras against Nicaragua." 

When the Carter Administration took office in 1977 it wasted litde 
time putting into practice a principle enunciated during the presidential 
campaign and by Congress in 1 976: U.S. aid would be cut off to recipients 
who were gross and persistent abusers of human rights. The idea was 
to encourage dictatorial regimes to modify their behavior and reinstate 
themselves in Washington's good graces. 

It was a fairly reasonable assumption; after all, many of these tyrants 
had been through U.S. military programs" and had adopted the anti- 
communist line that a succession of U.S. governments had encouraged. 
Washington had sired both the Nicaraguan and Guatemalan regimes, and 
was not without profound influence in El Salvador. 

In the 1960s, the U.S. had presided over the foundation of 
CONDECA, a regional military council intended "to coordinate and 
centralize military command of the region under U.S. military super- 
vision."'^ In El Salvador, the Kennedy Administration set in motion a 
series of meetings among Central American leaders that led to the 
establishment of the feared ANSESAL secret police and its "parallel 
domestic security agencies in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, 
and Costa Rica." Years later the CIA connections of ANSESAL would 
come to light in close connection with the death squads which have 
terrorized El Salvador since the 1970s.i6 Also in the 1960's AIFLD, (the 
American Institute for Free Labor Development, the AFL-CIO's foreign 
operation dedicated to foiling the formation of left wing unions) tried to 
organize a "tame" network of rural cooperatives in El Salvador. According 
to one report the project was budgeted at $ 1 .6 million and had the assistance 
of the Israeli Histadrut labor federation.'^ 

Even the prideful way that El Salvador and Guatemala responded 
when their aid was terminated— both preempted the U.S. move by cutting 
military ties with the U.S. 'S— might have been expected to blow over. That 
was without reckoning on Israel, which was quick to fill the gap. Indeed, 
one analyst believes the "surprisingly defiant position" of the Central 
American clients was based on their advance knowledge that they could 
maintain their military capacity by dealing with Israel." 

El Salvador simply began to buy its weapons from Israel. Between the 
1977 U.S. cutoff and the resumption of U.S. aid in 1981, El Salvador 
obtained over 80 percent of its weapons from Israel. The balance came from 
France and Brazil.^" The earlier aircraft orders still in the pipeline were 
delivered and small arms and ammunition from Israel undercut the intent of 
the Carter policy.^' By 1979 came the first report that Israeli advisers had 


been giving the Salvadoran military counterinsurgency training both in 
Israel and El Salvador." 

During this period as well, Israeli technicians began installing a 
computer system able to monitor utilities usage, thus giving the military the 
ability to pinpoint houses where the telephone is heavily used, presumably 
signifying that political organizing is going on. (A similar system provided 
by Israel to Guatemala does the same with water and electricity use; see 
below.) According to former Col. Guerra, the Israelis began work on the 
system in 1978. As an electronic engineer familiar with El Salvador's 
telecommunications installations, he did not believe that another company 
would be brought in to finish the work, despite two changes of government 
and the reentry of the U.S., following the installation of the Reagan 

It is quite certain that installation was completed. A CIA source 
described a telephone-monitoring computer system to a journalist in El 
Salvador, and Arnaldo Ramos of the FDR (the Democratic Revolutionary 
Front, the political grouping fighting against the U.S. -backed government) 
has spoken of another use to which the Salvadoran regime puts the 
computer equipment: 

They periodically block several downtown areas and take the 
id's of people, just to check who they are. If they find the 
person happens to be downtown in an area where he's not 
supposed to be too often during the week, that right away makes 
him a suspect.^* 

Once the new human rights policy was implemented, little attention 
was paid in the U.S. to what was going on in El Salvador. The Carter 
policy had the virtue of slackening the long embrace between Washington 
and Central American dictatorships; it had the obvious fault of not offering 
redress for the century of manipulation of Central American governments 
by the U.S. government and corporations. And it had the predictable 
ground-level threshhold for tolerating a strengthening of the left— which in 
El Salvador would bring Washington running to the assistance of the old 
order in 1980.^5 But in the early years of the Carter Administration there 
was little fretting over El Salvador and even less over the fact that Israel had 
so quickly filled the traditional U.S. shoes. 

Not surprisingly, however, there was great awareness of Israel's role 
among Salvadorans. In 1979, FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Libera- 
tion Front, the armed wing of the Salvadoran revolution) forces kidnapped 
Ernesto Liebes, Israel's honorary consul, but unlike many of the other 
people kidnapped by the FMLN for ransom, Liebes was executed "as a war 

Israel and Central America 101 

criminal because of the role he played in the sale of Israeli aircraft to the 
Salvadoran armed forces."^* On December 11,1979, the Israeli embassy in 
San Salvador was bombed, although it was never determined who was 
responsible.^' Soon after, Israel closed its embassy.^^ 

By 1979, a series of successful actions by a quickly-unifying 
Salvadoran left drew U.S. attention back to El Salvador. The triumph over 
Somoza in July 1979 inspired stepped up political and military action by 
the Salvadoran left and an intensified campaign of murder, disappearances, 
and brutality by the military and paramilitary death squads. Well before 
young officers seized power late that year, the Carter State Department had 
begun to involve itself in the search for a viable centrist leadership for El 
Salvador.^' During the tenure of the first junta, limited military aid ($5 
million, largely "nonlethal") was promised— it was briefly held up in an 
attempt to pressure the Salvadoran authorities to investigate the murder of 
four U.S. religious workers'"— and the first U.S. advisers were sent to El 
Salvador in January 1981, two months before Ronald Reagan took office." 

During this period, the newly installed Reagan Administration, 
inevitably attracted to ostentatiously grisly tyrannies, sought fast money 
for what was at that point an essentially military government. Israel agreed 
to loan — in actuality to defer receiving — 12 1 million of its U.S. assistance.'^ 

Even after the Reagan Administration committed itself fully to the 
Salvadoran government in 1 98 1 —its civilian figurehead in those days was 
Jose Napoleon Duarte — Israel received an order from El Salvador for three 
Arava aircraft in 1 982." There was an unconfirmed report that Israel had 
sold El Salvador three Super Mystere aircraft.'* 

As late as 1984, the Salvadoran military was using napalm it had 
purchased from Israel. The use of napalm on the civilian population was 
verified by a number of U.S. medical workers, including Harvard 
University burn specialist Dr. John Constable. The Israeli origin of the 
napalm was disclosed by the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador after 
persistent questioning by members of Congress and journalists.'^ 

In May 1 982 , Joaquin Aguilar, the representative in Italy of the FDR, 
was brought to Israel by a local solidarity committee to lobby against 
continued Israeli arms sales to the Salvadoran regime. The leaders of most 
of Israel's leftist factions met with Aguilar and, at the FDR representative's 
request, Shimon Peres, at the time leader of the Labor opposition, also 
agreed to meet with him. 

The Salvadoran ambassador to Israel bitterly denounced the meetings 
with Aguilar as dealing with a "terrorist," and issued pointed warnings 
about the Salvadoran opposition's connection to the PLO. Aguilar 
acknowledged that the FDR had relations with the PLO, "which 


represents the Palestinian people." But he also stressed the FDR's 
awareness of Jewish suffering. 

I want to deliver a message of peace to the Israeli people — a 
people who have suffered so much. That is why I think the 
people of Israel can understand the suffering of the people in El 
Salvador, who are under fascist repression by a dictatorship that 
uses Nazi means and mass murder to defeat the people.'' 

According to one report, Aguilar "left empty-handed after talks with 
Peres..."" Yet it is still not altogether clear whether Israel has continued to 
sell weapons to the Salvadoran military, which continues to get most of 
what it needs for such tasks as its daily bombing runs on the civilian 
population from the U.S. 

In any event, after the advent of the Reagan Administration, Israel did 
maintain advisers in El Salvador.'^ "I never heard that those advisers left El 
Salvador," noted Col. Guerra y Guerra, who went into exile after the fall of 
the first junta in 1980, but in 1983 was still informed about events in El 
Salvador. In numbers estimated at 100-200'' in 1982, they undoubtedly 
filled in the holes left by Congressional restrictions limiting the U.S. to 55 
advisers. In 1 984, its Salvadoran proteges having been slow to benefit from 
U.S. training, the Pentagon asked Israel to supply more advisers.*" 

The proliferating Israeli "security" firms made up of retired Israeli 
military and intelligence officers have sent personnel to the Salvadoran 
armed forces. The connection of these firms and the Israeli government is 
direct: "One source said the Defense Ministry in fact often passes less- 
desirable clients to private consulting firms when 'the government is 
reluctant to have [active military] personnel directly involved.' 

The Embassy and the Strings Attached 

Israel continued to pursue its own relationship with El Salvador. On 
April 13, 1984, El Salvador's Ambassador to Israel had nailed a large seal 
on a doorpost in Jerusalem: "Republic of El Salvador in Central America — 
Embassy." He ran a Salvadoran flag up next to the Israeli flag. An Israeli 
foreign ministry official said Israel hoped to increase its cultural and 
developmental ties with El Salvador.*^ It was a radical move. In 1 980, all 1 4 
nations which had maintained embassies in Jerusalem relocated them to Tel 
Aviv, in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 478 dis- 
avowing the annexation of East Jerusalem by the Israeli Knesset earlier that 
year. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, and under 

Israel and Central America 103 

international law it is regarded as occupied and disputed territory; the 
significance of Jerusalem to three major religions— Christianity, Islam and 
Judaism— only increases the sensitivity of the issue. Prior to the Salvadoran 
decision, only Costa Rica had defied prevailing sentiment and in 1982 
relocated its embassy to Jerusalem. 

Radio Venceremos, the voice of the Salvadoran insurgency, con- 
demned the embassy transfer as "a shameless violation of UN resolutions" 
and condemned interim President Alvaro Magana— installed in 1982 after 
Roberto D'Aubuisson's far right ARENA (Nationalist Republican Al- 
liance) party captured the National Assembly in a dog and pony show 
election and dismissed Duarte— for aligning El Salvador with Israel." 

In El Salvador, the Israeli ambassador presented his credentials, and 
interim President Magana voiced hopes for a security agreement and aid 
from Israel. The following week, the Washington media was rife with 
stories (which later turned out to be part of an administration pressure 
campaign to get Israeli support for the contras; see below) that a meeting 
between Israeli Foreign Ministry Director- General David Kimche and 
State Department officals would discuss setting up a special fund, indepen- 
dent of the U.S. budget, for Israeli "technological and agricultural projects 
in Central America and Africa" and, in exchange, using Israel as a conduit 
for aid to the Salvadoran government and the contras. Israel, noted all the 
accounts, should be in a generous mood toward El Salvador because of that 
country's recent recognition of Jerusalem.** 

According to an official at the Salvadoran foreign ministry, the 
ministry had also assumed "that something concrete had been offered in 
exchange for the transfer since it contradicted the Foreign Ministry's 

Foreign Minister Fidel Chavez Mena had supported the 1980 UN 
resolution that asked members to withdraw their embassies from Jerusalem. 
Chavez Mena had been working to develop El Salvador's ties with Middle 
Eastern countries; he was a friend of the Egyptian Ambassador. Now, some 
Salvadoran officials began to worry that Arab governments might 
recognize an insurgent government**— a justifiable worry as the FMLN- 
FDR controlled a significant part of northern El Salvador. 

This did not occur, but on April 20 Egypt and other members of the 
Islamic Conference Organization broke relations with El Salvador and 
Costa Rica.*'' The rupture was intended as a warning to the U.S., where a 
bizarre election year roller coaster was gathering steam as Democratic 
candidates competed in the strength of their commitment to a bill 
mandating the move of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to 
Jerusalem.*^ Congress passed the bill, which was non-binding, so President 


Reagan simply ignored it. But that spring Egypt and other Arab nations 
suspected— erroneously— that El Salvador had been encouraged to make 
the move to Jerusalem by Washington, as a kind of trial balloon.'" 

In fact, the Salvadoran move had almost nothing to do with U.S. 
politics and a great deal to do with the machinations of the Salvadoran far- 
right, casting bitter irony on the words of an anonymous Salvadoran 
official: "If Israel would help us fight our terrorism, we wouldn't have this 
problem with the death squads."™ Moreover, it had all been set in motion 
eight months earlier, in August 1983, when a Salvadoran delegation 
arrived in Israel. 

They were "not exactly" looking for military aid, said Ernesto 
Magana, although "we are quite interested in the help of Israeli 'counter- 
terrorist' specialists." The leader of the delegation, Presidential 
Secretary Jose Francisco Guerrero, also spoke of "eradicating" the 
worldwide blight of terror and of strengthening Israeli-Salvadoran 

At a meeting with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, the delegation 
informed him that El Salvador was willing to relocate its embassy to 
Jerusalem. Begin was so delighted he embraced Ernesto Magana.'^ 

It is still not certain exactly what — or who — propelled the Salvadorans 
to Israel, although in retrospect it appears as though the initial move was a 
not very well thought out fishing expedition. The Salvadorans were taken 
on a tour of Israeli military installations and lAI plants,'^ but when the 
embassy relocation was announced, aside from a pledge to support each 
other at the UN,'* the terms of the agreement seemed somewhat vague. 

In exchange for a gesture from El Salvador, Israel plans to 
reopen its embassy here and begin a cooperation program that 
could lead to Israeli military and internal security aid... The 
arrangement also includes hopes in the Salvadoran government 
[sic] that the influential pro-Israel lobby in the United States will 
lend a discreet hand in congressional debates over the wisdom of 
administration policy on Central America and the level of 
military aid for the U.S.-supported government of provisional 
President Alvaro Magana." 

At any rate, despite El Salvador's stated intention to set up shop in 
Jerusalem in September, through late 1983 and early 1984 nothing 
happened, a sign perhaps of opposition to the move in El Salvador from 
either the foreign ministry, where the well-educated staff was generally 
opposed to Israeli policies,'* or even the U.S. embassy. It certainly was an 
indication that Israel had not put enough on the table to match the 
Salvadoran gesture. If the visit of top Salvadoran military officers to Israel 

Israel and Central America 105 

which Guerrero had said would occur later in 1983" took place, it was 
under the strictest secrecy. 

The move finally occurred in April 1984, only weeks before an 
election that was critical to the continuation of U.S. aid to El Salvador. The 
situation was a classic: an administration in Washington trying to present to 
Congress and the U.S. public a credible image of a working democracy'^ 
and the emergence of a centrist government. In this case the Christian 
Democratic Party of Jose Napoleon Duarte— or what remained of it after 
the more principled elements joined the FDR— was pitted against the far 
right ARENA Party. Led by cashiered army major Roberto D' Aubuisson, 
ARENA was a carefully constructed above-ground political arm of the 
death squads which had plagued El Salvador, causing the greater part of 
40,000 civilian deaths between 1979 and 1983, although at the time the 
degree of overlap was not known.'S The party of Francisco Jose Guerrero, 
the top aid in the caretaker Magana government who had led the August 
1983 delegation to Israel, had been eliminated in the initial round of the 
presidential elections on March 25 and its support was regarded as a wild 
card; but, with its ties to the growers and military, not much of one. 

In the U.S., Congress had made itself quite clear: if D' Aubuisson won 
the election the Administration's requests for military aid for El Salvador 
would almost certainly be rejected. (With the 1984 elections approaching 
the Democrats in Congress had briefly entered the zone of principle and 
were vociferously blocking the Administration's war plans for Central 
America. The mood soon passed.) 

Likewise, led by Dale Bumpers (D-AR) the Senate had put itself on 
record as willing to stop all military aid to El Salvador should its elected 
government be deposed by a coup d'etat. That resolution was passed 
unanimously in the midst of coup rumors.^" 

It is significant that the embassy-moving ceremony took place 
between the elmination of Guerrero from presidential contention and the 
May 6, 1984 election of Duarte. Guerrero, according to one foreign 
journalist who spoke with him extensively, had been fixed on the idea of 
moving the embassy ever since he had returned from Israel. He greatly 
admired the Israeli agricultural arrangements of "civil defense systems on 
farms in endangered areas," and he believed that El Salvador should have a 
fallback international backer. 

The Salvadoran far right had also thought about an alternative to the 
U.S., with its annoying lectures about human rights abuses and its history 
of abandoning its client/allies. Georgetown University Center for Strate- 
gic and International Studies fellow Robert Leiken had pointed out that, in 
pursuit of their own agendas, the Salvadorans and other Central American 


"anti-Communist (sic) military cliques" would disregard U.S. interests. 
He also noted that Taiwan, Israel, Chile and South Africa "are countries 
that... are frequently invoked by D'Aubuisson's supporters, increasingly 
bitter and outspoken about U.S. 'meddling,' as substitutes should American 
aid be cut off."" It was also evident that, if elected, Duarte would hold to 
the Christian Democrat position on Jerusalem, that the status of the city is 
still to be negotiated, and would never move the embassy. The timing of 
the move, less than a month before the election, clearly suggests an attempt 
by the Salvadoran right to establish links and curry favor with Israel. 

Just as clearly, it suggests that when its own interests are involved— in 
this case a sop to the legitimacy of Jerusalem as its "eternal" and 
"undivided" capital— Israel has litde interest in coordinating its activities 
with Washington. Apparendy it does not have to. Nor did it seem to 
require the kind of distance from Roberto D'Aubuisson upon which even 
the Reagan right (minus Sen. Jesse Helms) insisted. 

Ultimately, with the benefit of money the CIA pumped into the 
election, Duarte defeated D'Aubuisson." Soon after assuming office 
Duarte was asked about the embassy. He answered 

Regarding Jerusalem, that is a problem that concerns the 
Foreign Ministry. I still do not know why this decision was 
adopted. I hope to receive the official report from the foreign 
minister. ..however, it is quite logical to think that at this 
moment he is not completely aware of the details but will give us 
a report regarding the situation, what has happened..." 

Nonetheless, when in July 1984 Duarte came to the U.S., he won the 
hearts of Congress , which approved $ 70 million emergency military aid in 
August.^* Could those "hopes in the Salvadoran government" that Israel 
would put its powerful lobby to work have come true for Duarte.' 

Much later, Salvadoran officials would reveal that there had been 
disappointment when, following the embassy relocation, Israel had not 
provided the hoped-for economic and military aid.*^ Therefore, they 
explained. President Duarte delayed naming an ambassador to the new 
embassy in Jerusalem.^* In any event, Duarte— and even the negative Fidel 
Chavez Mena— would later reap the benefits of Magana's move to 
Jerusalem and the never quite defined "cooperation program." 

Israel and Central America 107 


In March 1 985, El Salvador's Deputy Minister of Defense and Public 
Security Col. Reynaldo Lopez Nulla visited Israel.*^ Lopez was the 
strongest advocate in the Duarte cabinet of "citizens defense committees" 
to guard plantations and businesses against insurgent attacks. By July 1 984, 
the Salvadoran Assembly had passed a law approving the creation of such 
units. In 1985 an enthusiastic Col. Sigifredo Ochoa began establishing 
"self-defense" committees in Chalatenango province, in towns which the 
military had succeeded in occupying. In May, Ochoa boasted that his 
troops had organized 30 such committees.^s jhese forces, argued Lopez 
Nulla, "have worked in many other countries."*' Later Lopez Nulla and 
the director of the Salvadoran police academy visited Guatemala for advice 
on counterinsurgency; while there they set up permanent links with their 
counterparts.70 Israel has long advised the Guatemalan military and police 
(see below). It is more likely, however, that Nuila's mission was related to 
the "self-defense" forces which the Salvadoran government was trying to 
set up. 

These attempts came in the context of efforts the U.S. had been 
making to establish the same kind of rural "pacification" program that it 
had employed in Vietnam, the well-remembered Phoenix Program of 
wmning hearts and minds with a combination of civic amenities and 
murder. In El Salvador it was called the National Plan. Begun in 1 983, the 
program in San Vicente province was a monumental failure. "Guerrillas 
stole medicines from National Plan hospitals and held night classes at 
National Plan schools. "7' Corruption in the ranks of Salvadoran officials 
accomplished what the insurgents could not.'^ 

The military then began an intensified bombing campaign to depopu- 
late areas whose residents were thought to support the rebels." It 
developed its own pacification plan, and it was probably inevitable that 
Israel would become involved. 

Actually, Israeli aid to Salvadoran attempts at "pacification" might 
have predated the embassy-moving agreement. At the April 1984 cere- 
mony in Jerusalem, the Salvadoran ambassador had noted that, "We have 
all the time a representation of Israel, mainly in the field of agricultural 
cooperation, organization of communities. "^^ In early 1 985 the Salvadoran 
military instituted a program called the Patriotic Youth Movement— "to 
restore civic and moral values and seek rapprochement with the nation's 
teachers and students""— the same name as that run by Israel many years 


At the end of 1 984 the Salvadoran government introduced something 
called Project 1,000, designed to settle 500,000 war refugees in 1,000 
"fortified communities." Total cost of the project (not counting the cost of 
creating refugees, which is covered by U.S. military aid) was estimated at 
$70 to 1100 million.'* 

At first Salvadoran officians thought that U.S. AID and the UN 
Development Program would provide funding. Perhaps because at one 
point the Salvadoran government suggested restricting the distribution of 
U.S. food aid to those who moved to the new communities — the 
government offered as an excuse for this gambit that there was a new 
marginal class of parasites resulting in "dependency, vagrancy, crime, 
prostitution [and] frustration," — U.S. AID was emphatic in denying it had 
any connection with Project 1 ,000.'^ The International Commitee for the 
Red Cross and other established aid organizations said that they would not 
participate in the program. AID officials said they were working on 
resettlement plans with the Catholic Church, and an official of a major relief 
organization charged that Project 1 ,000 was a plan for population control: 
"People are displaced from conflicted or rebel-held zones in an effort to 
drain away support from the guerrillas, then these people are herded into 
camps where they are monitored and controlled."'' 

By early 1985, the promoters of Project 1,000 were speaking of 
obtaining the financial wherewithal from European and Latin American 

In late 1985 the West German government granted El Salvador $ 1 7.9 
million for use in "agrarian reform and social projects in fields of health and 
education, and to promote cooperatives."^' Agrarian reform has not been 
implemented in El Salvador for several years. The word "cooperative" has 
been used at least once to describe the fortified villages established by the 
Salvadoran military. 

On New Years Day in 1986, El Salvador's ambassador to Jerusalem 
presented his credentials to the Israelis. (Ambassador Enrique Guttfreund 
Hanchel was a former president of the Jewish community in El Salvador 
and also of the Central American Confederation of Jewish Communities.^') 
The following month Israel's ambassador in El Salvador said, "We will be 
reinforcing our technical cooperation in the agricultural and community 
development fields, in which we are considered specialists."^'' By that 
mouthful of euphemisms the ambassador meant that Israel would help El 
Salvador strip the last shreds of dignity and hope from thousands of civilian 

Harking back to the scorched earth military pacification plan which 
Israel had helped Guatemala implement (see below), a nongovernmental 

Israel and Central America 


community development worker spelled out the nature of Israel's speciali- 
zation: "Once you have Israeli technicians coming into the country, you 
can have military trainers coming in under the guise of agricultural 
technicians. That is what they did in Guatemala." An adviser to President 
Duarte said the government hoped that Israel's agricultural assistance 
would prop up the agrarian reform program and "keep thousands of 
peasants from joining rebel ranks out of frustration." The Israeli ambas- 
sador said that his country's aid would be channeled through the 
government agency supporting the military's relocation projects, Dideco.^^ 

In July 1986, Fidel Chavez Mena, now El Salvador's Planning 
Minister, arrived in Israel and signed an agreement covering both 
agricultural and industrial assistance. The financing to support the Israeli 
technicians was reported to be coming from the World Bank, West 
Germany and the U.S. According to the Israeli daily Davar, Chavez and his 
counterpart Gad Yacobi discussed the possibilities of "technical assistance 
for agricultural cooperation among the nations of Central America. "^^ 

A week before the signing of that agreement James LeMoyne, the 
New York Times correspondent in El Salvador, wrote about the likely 
recipients of Israeli aid. 

The peasants captured for supporting the guerrillas represent an 
especially difficult challenge for the Government. Winning their 
sympathy will be extremely hard. 

The villagers have been rounded up in army counter- 
insurgency campaigns that are intended to separate guerrilla 
sympathizers from armed rebel units. It is an unpleasant 
business. The army enters selected guerrilla areas and burns the 
peasants' fields, wrecks their homes and seiz'es anyone it can 

If the Israelis' work is going to be done in conjunction with the latest 
comprehensive counterinsurgency plan announced by the Salvadoran 
government, "United to Rebuild," there will be at least $ 1 8 million of U.S. 
funds involved. 

Should the U.S. be forced to pull back from all or part of its misguided 
commitments to El Salvador, Israel is ideally positioned to carry on the 
work. In 1932 the Salvadoran military massacred 30,000 in quelling a 
revolution. 8' Col. Guerra y Guerra recalls hearing hardline Salvadoran 
officers say that they were prepared to kill 300,000 of their countrymen to 
extinguish the current insurgency.'" 

Should the Salvadoran far right win political control from the Duarte 
Christian Democrats, thanks to its decisive action in relocating the 
Salvadoran embassy in 1984, the Salvadoran right has an account with 
excellent credit waiting in Jerusalem. 


Major Israeli Weapons Sales to El Salvador 



Reference Source 

25 IAI-201 Arava 

6 Fouga Magister 

18 refurbished 
Dassault Ouragan 

200 80-mm rocket 

200 9-mm Uzi sub- 
machine guns 

Spare parts 

"Security" equip- 

Galil assault rifles 

4 Mystere B-2 

Armored vehicles 

3 Arava STOL 

Napalm bombs 

Ordered September 
1973; delivered 
1974-1979. Unit cost 
$0.7 million 

Licensed production in 
Israel. Ordered 1973; 
dehvered 1975 

Ordered 1973; deliv- 
ered 1975. From Israeli 
air force stock 

Delivered 1974-77 

Delivered 1974-77 

Ordered and delivered 
1981; unconfirmed 

Sold in 1982 

Stockholm International Peace 
Research Institute (SIPRI), 
World Armament and Dis- 
armament Yearbook 1979, pp 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1976, p. 274. 

Ibid., p 275. 

U.S. Congress, House, Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs, Eco- 
nomic and Military Aid 
Programs, p 84. 


"Armas Israelis Contra Amer- 
ica Latina," OLP Informa 
(Mexico City), February 1982, 
p 8. 

Penny Lernoux, '"Who's Who 
of Dictators Obtain Arms from 
Israel," National Catholic Re- 
porter, 25 December 1981. 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1982, p 213. 

Interview with "Miguel," nom 
de guerre. International Rela- 
tions Department of the Sal- 
vadoran FMLN, Managua, 
Nicaragua, 17 August 1982; in- 
terview with "Santiago," Inter- 
national Relations Department 
of the Salvadoran Communist 
Party, Managua, Nicaragua, 17 
August 1982. 

Latin America Weekly Report, 
17 December 1982, p 6. 

Hadashot, 2 October 1984, p 

Chan from hml and Latin Amtriai: The Military Connection, Bishara Bahbah, New York: St. Martin's, 1 986. 


Salvadoran rightists are aware of how well their counterparts in 
Guatemala have done over the last decade— without the United States and 
with the help of Israel. The history of Israel's relations with Guatemala 
roughly parallels that of its ties with El Salvador— except the Guatemalan 
military was so unswervingly bloody that Congress never permitted the 
(all-too-eager) Reagan Administration to undo the military aid cutoff 
implemented during the Carter years.' 

Weaponry for the Guatemalan military is the very least of what Israel 
has delivered. Israel not only provided the technology necessary for a reign 
of terror, it helped in the organization and commission of the horrors 
perpetrated by the Guatemalan military and police. And even beyond that: 
to ensure that the profitable relationship would continue, Israel and its 
agents worked actively to maintain Israeli influence in Guatemala. 

Throughout the years of untrammeled slaughter that left at least 
45,000 dead,2 and, by early 1983, one million in internal exile'— mostly 
indigenous Mayan Indians, who comprise a majority of Guatemala's eight 
million people— and thousands more in exile abroad, Israel stood by the 
Guatemalan military. Three successive military governments and three 
brutal and sweeping campaigns against the Mayan population, described 
by a U.S. diplomat as Guatemala's "genocide against the Indians,'"* had the 
benefit of Israeli techniques and experience, as well as hardware. 



As with El Salvador, the popular response to Israeli aid to the military 
government was expressed with a bombing attack on its Guatemala City 
embassy on the night of January 12, 1982. Guards fired at the fleeing 
attackers, whose bomb did slight damage to the building.^ A few months 
later another bombing blew out windows in the embassy, and a simul- 
taneous bomb throwing attack on Guatemala City's only synagogue 
resulted in no damage.' 

Israel and Guatemala had more of a history than did Israel with El 
Salvador. In 1 947, Guatemala's representative at the UN was appointed to 
the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), charged with 
drafting a plan for Jewish and Palestinian nations in what was the British 
Mandate of Palestine. After a trip to Palestine, where he met the pre-state 
terrorist Menachem Begin, Jorge Garcia Granados was well disposed 
toward the Jewish settlers; he is considered to have been instrumental in 
drafting the plan of partition that created the state of Israel.^ 

History, however, has not run a straight course, and Israel's occasional 
claims that it is somehow obligated to Guatemala are dubious. As Milton 
Jamail and Margo Gutierrez note. 

Although Israel points to its early special relationship with 
Guatemala, it is important to note that that relationship began 
between a progressive government in Guatemala and what was 
perceived by the Guatemalans as an anti-colonial struggle in 
Palestine. The situation has changed considerably in the ensuing 
forty years. Guatemala's military dictatorship of today is the 
direct descendant of a right-wing government that took power 
in 1 954 by overthrowing the government that had forged such 
good relations with Israel.* 

In the 1960s and 1970s, Israel conducted quite an extensive technical 
assistance program in Guatemala with the emphasis on agriculture. By 
1 970, 1 6 Israeli advisers had worked on projects in Guatemala. In 1 97 1 the 
two countries signed a cooperation agreement, following which Israel 
taught a " youth leadership" course an d established a "workers' bank" in 
Guatemala.' ' " — 

As it did to El Salvador, the Carter Administration wrote Guatemala 
off of the U.S. military assistance ledgers in 1 977.'" Guatemala had actually 
been confronted with a U.S. aid cutoff two years earlier, when the Ford 
Administration had held back arms shipments at the request of the British 
government after Guatemala threatened to invade neighboring Belize, then 
a British colony, on which Guatemala had long held territorial designs." 

Israel began selling Guatemala weapons in 1974 and since then is 
known to have delivered 17 Arava aircraft.'^ In 1977 at the annual 

Israel and Central America 1 1 3 

industrial fair, Interfer, Israel's main attraction was the Arava. "An 
operative Arava is to be parked outside the lAI pavillion for public 
inspection, although its silhouette in flight is a common sight over the 
capital and countryside."" 

Referring to the Aravas, Benedicto Lucas Garcia, chief of staff during 
the rule of his brother Romeo Lucas Garcia (1978-1982) said, "Israel 
helped us in regard to planes and transportation—which we desperately 
needed because we had problems in transferring ground forces from one 
place to another. " By 1 982 , at least nine of the Aravas had been mounted 
with gun pods.'^ 

Among the other weapons sold by Israel were 10 RBY armored 
personnel carriers, three Dabur class patrol boats armed with Gabriel 
missiles, light cannons, machine guns and at least 15,000 Galil assault 
rifles." The Galil became Guatemala's standard rifle'' and Uzis were 
widely seen as well. 

According to Victor Perera, "Uzis and the larger Galil assault rifles 
used by Guatemala's special counterinsurgency forces accounted for at 
least half of the estimated 45,000 Guatemalan Indians killed by the military 
since 1978. "'« 

In 1977, authorities in the Caribbean nation of Barbados seized two 
separate shipments of Israeli arms and ammunition bound for Guatemala. " 
Barbados, a Commonwealth member, had supported an OAS resolution 
favoring Belize's independence and territorial integrity.^" That year it was 
reported that Guatemala's feared Kaibiles (special forces) were based in 
Peten near the Belize border "with new Israeli automatic rifles."^' 

From the beginning, both sides took the arms buying and selling 
seriously. In 1 9 7 1 , Guatemalan armed forces Chief of Staff Kjell Laugerud 
Garcia visited Israel. Soon after, Laugerud was (fraudulently) elected 
president. In 1974 he paid another visit "to widen cooperation with 
Israel. Three years later, Israel's President Ephraim Katzir reciprocated 
with a visit to Guatemala. According to Laugerud, his purpose was mainly 
to discuss arms and military aid." 

After Guatemala was cut off from U.S. military equipment, Israel 
continued to fill in the gaps. Chief of Staff Lucas Garcia said he maintained 
contact "with Israelis who advised us on matters of military purchases." 
Lucas said that while Israel did not provide "large amounts" of weapons, 
"it was the only country that gave us support in our battle against the 
guerrillas. "2* It is particularly difficult to know exactly what was supplied 
and how much it cost. Young officers complaining gf corruption on the 
part of their superiors charged that between 1975 and 1981 some 
Guatemalan generals had claimed $425 million in weapons purchases from 



Israel, Italy, Belgium and Yugoslavia; however, according to the young 
officers, only |175 million had really been spent on arms — the difference 
was deposited in the Cayman Islands bank accounts of the generals. 

Some of the payment for Israeli arms is thought to have been made in 
quetzals, Guatemala's currency, which Israel would then use in its other 
dealings with Guatemala.^^ Although there were reports of a big sale of 
Israeli Kfir fighter planes to Guatemala,^' these were never seen and would 
have required a U.S. re-export license, which the Carter Administration 
was not willing to give Israel for resale to Ecuador. It is possible the reports 
of Kfirs were born out of earlier reports (during the flare up of tensions over 
Belize) that Israel (or France) had provided Guatemala with 24 "earlier 
type" Mirage combat aircraft.^' 

Likewise, there are reports of helicopter sales, although the number of 
aircraft involved have not been determined. The transaction is said to have 
been a barter arrangement, with Israel accepting Guatemalan currency to 
be used for buying Guatemalan goods or financing Israeli operations in 

In 1985, the army's chief of staff said that several of the air force's 
helicopters were at the time in Israel undergoing repairs and recon- 
ditioning.31 In March 1986, Greek officials impounded the West Lion, 
sailing from Israel and carrying a dismantled Augusta Bell 2 1 2 helicopter. 
The first of several destinations given for the ship was Guatemala. It was 
also carrying 209 tons of reinforced TNT, bazookas, machine guns and 
ammunition (although some of this could well have been intended for the 
contras; see below). 

It is certain that over the years Israel has delivered quantities of smaller 
items to Guatemala: flak jackets, helmets," until "[a]rmy outposts in the 
jungle have become near replicas of Israeli army field camps."'* "When I see 
the quantity of arms involved in some of these transactions, such as 
Guatemala at the height of the internal terror!" commented former Foreign 
Minister Abba Eban, now head of the Knesset's defense and foreign affairs 

Under an agreement with Guatemala's air force, Israel trained pilots.'* 
A 1983 report said that Israel had built an air base in Guatemala.'^ 

Israel also installed a radar array at Guatemala City's La Aurora 
International Airport; in 1983 the radar was reportedly run by Israeli 

When the Reagan Administration took office it was determined to do 
everything it could for Guatemala. It had promised as much during the 
election campaign. Never had Ronald Reagan seen a rightist dictatorship he 
didn't like; during his 1980 campaign he met with a representative of the 

Israel and Central America 


right-wing business lobby Los Amigos del Pais, and, referring to the Carter 
Administration's aid cutoff, told him, "Don't give up. Stay there and fight. 
I'll help you as soon as I get in." 

The Guatemalan far-right apparently helped Reagan get in. 

Guatemalan business leaders reportedly pumped large illegal 
contributions into the Reagan campaign coffers. Their tentacles 
reached right into the core of the new administration through 
the lobbying activities of the Hannaford-Deaver law firm of 
White House troika member Michael Deaver. Within three days 
of the Republican victory on 7 November 1980, Hannaford- 
Deaver were busy arranging a Capitol Hill briefing for Amigos 
del Pais.^'^ 

Congress, however, did not change its attitude about Guatemala, and 
as late as 1985 remained adamant about denying it military aid. In 1981, 
Reagan's Secretary of State Alexander Haig "urged Israel to help 
Guatemala."*" In July 1985 Israel helped the administration move a 
shipment of 40 assault rifles with advanced night sights and 1,000 grenade 
launchers from Israel to Guatemala on a KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) 

In late 1983, the Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP) issued a 
communique saying that the previous May a munitions factory producing 
bullets for Galil rifles and Uzi submachine guns had begun operation in 
Alta Verapaz.*^ Subsequently the director of Army Public Relations 
confirmed that the military was producing Galil rifle parts, had begun 
armor plating its vehicles at the factory, and that the facility would soon be 
capable of building grenade launchers.*' The following year the factory 
began manufacturing entire Galil rifles under license from Israel.** 

Israeli advisers set up the factory and then trained the Guatemalans to 
run it, said Gen. Benedicto Lucas Garcia, who had headed the army at the 
time. "The factory is now being run by Guatemalans," he added.*' There 
are hopes in Guatemala that 30 percent of the plant's output can be sold to 
Honduras and EI Salvador.** 

The EGP said in 1983 that there were 300 Israeli advisers in 
Guatemala, working "in the security structures and in the army."*^ Other 
reports were less specific as to numbers, but suggested that these Israeli 
advisers, "some official, others private," performed a variety of functions. 
Israelis "helped Guatemalan internal security agents hunt underground 
rebel groups."*^ 

Gen. Lucas said Israeli advisers had come to teach the use of Israeli 
equipment purchased by Guatemala.*' Throughout the 1960s and 1970s 
the Guatemalan police agencies had had extensive U.S. training in "riot 


control training and related phases of coping with civil disturbances in a 
humane and effective manner," a euphemism for the terror campaigns in 
which these forces participated that in 1967-1968 took 7,000 lives while 
ostensibly fighting a guerrilla force that never numbered more than 450.^" 
When Congress forbade U.S. forces to train the internal police forces of 
other countries— passed in 1974, this law was supplanted in 1985 by 
legislation that put the U.S. back in the police-guidance business^i— the 
Israelis stepped in and "set up their intelligence network, tried and tested on 
the West Bank and Gaza."'^ 

Israeli noncommissioned officers were also said to have been hired by 
big landowners to train their private security details. (Under Marcos, Israel 
did the same in the Philippines.^^) These private squads, together with 
"off-duty military officers formed the fearsome 'death squads' which later 
spread to neighboring El Salvador, where they have been responsible for an 
estimated 20,000-30,000 murders of left-wing dissidents."^* 

Not only did the Israelis share their experiences and their tactics, they 
bestowed upon Guatemala the technology needed by a modern police state. 
During the period Guatemala was under U.S. tutelage, the insurgency 
spread from the urban bourgeoisie to the indigenous population in the rural 
highlands; with Israeli guidance the military succeeded in suppressing (for 
now) the drive for land and political liberation. The Guatemalan military is 
very conscious of that achievement, even proud of it. Some officers argue 
that with the help of the U.S. they could not have quelled the insurgency, as 
Congress would not have tolerated their ruthless tactics.^^ 

In 1979, the Guatemalan interior minister paid a "secret and confiden- 
tial" visit to Israel, where he met with the manufacturers of "sophisticated 
police equipment."" In March of the following year Interior Minister 
Donaldo Alvarez Ruiz was in Israel to conclude an agreement for police 
training. Following the overthrow of Lucas Garcia, the home of Interior 
Minister Alvarez was raided, "uncovering underground jail cells, 50 stolen 
vehicles. ..[and] scores of gold graduation rings, wrenched from the fingers 
of police torture victims."'^ 

Israeli advisers have worked with the feared G-2 police intelligence 
unit.^^ Overseen by the army general staff, the G-2 is the intelligence 
agency — sections charged with "the elimination of individuals" are 
stationed at every army base— which has been largely responsible for the 
death squad killings over the last decade. The present civilian government 
has dissolved the DIT, a civilian organization subordinate to G-2, but not 
G-2 itself." 

In 1981, the Ar my's School of Tr ansjriissions and Electronics, a 
school designed and financed by the Israeli company Tadiran to teach such 

Israel and Central America 


subjects as encoding, radio jamming and monitoring, a nd the use of Israeli 
equipment was opened in Guatemala City.*" According to the colonel 
directing the school, everything in it came from Israel: the "teaching 
methods, the teaching teams, the technical instruments, books, and even the 
custom furniture. ..designed and built by the Israeli company DEGEM 

At the opening ceremony the Israeli ambassador was thanked by Chief 
of Staff Gen. Benedicto Lucas Garcia for "the advice and transfer of 
electronic technology" which, Lucas said, had brought Guatemala up to 
date.*^ Calling Guatemala "one of our best friends" the ambassador 
promised that further technology transfers were in the works.*' 

Perhaps the most sinister of all the equipment supplied by Israel to 
Guatemala were twocomguieis. One was in an old military academy and 
became, as Benedicto Lucas called it, "the nerve center of the armed forces, 
which deals with the movements of units in the field and so on."** The 
other computer was located in an annex of the National Palace. The G-2 
have a control center there, and, since the days of Romeo Lucas Garcia, 
meetings have been held in that annex to select assassination victims. 
According to a senior Guatemalan army official, the complex contains "an 
archive and computer file on journalists, students, leaders, people of the left, 
politicians, and so on." This material is combined with current intelligence 
reports and mulled over during weekly sessions that have included, in their 
respective times, both Romeo Lucas and Oscar Mejia Victores. 

The bureaucratic procedures for approving the killing of a 
dissident are well-established. "A local military commander has 
someone they think is a problem," the officer explains. "So they 
speak with G-2, and G-2 consults its own archives and 
information from its agents and the police and, if all coincide, it 
passes along a direct proposition to the minister of defense. 
They say, 'We have analyzed the case of such and such a person 
in depth and this person is responsible for the following acts and 
we recommend that we execute them.' 

The computer, installed by Tadiran, and operational in late 1979 or 
early 1980,** was used to sort through dossiers and to distribute lists of 
those marked for death. Said a U.S. priest who fled the country after 
appearing on a death list, "They had printout lists at the border crossings 
and at the airport. Once you get on that — then it's like bounty hunters."*' 

The computer was also capable of monitoring utilities usage and 
identifying surges in consumption that might indicate a meeting underway, 
a mimeograph producing leaflets, bombs being made. In 1981, relying on 
information generated by the computer system, the Guatemalan military 



raided 30 safe houses of the Revolutionary Organization of People in Arms 

Along with the computer system came public registration. In May 
1983, the government announced that Col. Jaime Rabanales, a specialist in 
counterinsurgency propaganda, had been put in charge of a program to 
register the entire population,^' a task that would be undertaken "with the 
help of Israeli intelligence."™ Soon after he wrested power from Rios 
Montt, Gen. Oscar Mejia Victores called a halt to the census-taking, which 
he said was a burden to the military and a public relations disaster.^' 

Something resembling that plan cropped up again in August 1984, 
according to a report by the Mexico City El Dia about a "sectoral" 
(sectorization) plan to contain urban political activity. The paper said the 
plan was modeled after "Jsrael's experiences in Palestinian areas," and 
called fo r eight police for ea ch tour blocks, a census ot' th e residents and " 
remtorcement of neighborhood orga nizations— " a torm ot the civil selF^ 
d efense patrols. " The paper also said that this plan would contribute to 
accomplishing the computerization of the population already under way, 
"the work of Israeli experts."'^ 

. By 1985, 80 percent of the adult population was said to have been 
entered in the computer.^' 

Israeli technicians also work training Guatemalan bureaucrats how to 
use computerized information and management systems.^* 

Control of the Rural Population 

The aspect of Israeli cooperation with Guatemala with the most 
serious implications is the role played by Israeli personnel in the universally 
condemned rural "pacification" program. Extreme maldistribution of 
land — exacerbated by encroachment on indigenous land — was a major 
cause of the present rebellion. After trying several different approaches, the 
military, under Rios Montt, embarked on a resolution of the problem, 
substituting forced relocation and suppression for equitable land dis- 

In 1982 Israeli military advisers helped develop and carry out Plan 
Victoria, the devastating scorched earth campaign which Rios Montt 
unleashed on the highland population. In June 1983, the Guatemalan 
embassy in Washington confirmed that "personnel sent by the Israeli 
government were participating in the repopulation and readjustment 
programs for those displaced." Rios Montt himself told the Washington 

Israel and Central America 


Times that the Israeli government was giving his administration help with 
the counterinsurgency plan called "Techo, tortilla y trabajo" (shelter, food 
and work)." The "three T's" followed an earlier Rios program called 
Fusiles y Frijoles, or beans and bullets, where wholesale slaughter was 
combined with the provision of life's necessities to those willing to 
cooperate with the military.^* 

The success of the government's initially savage but sophis- 
ticated campaign against the rebels has come without significant 
U.S. military assistance, and top field commanders say that none 
is necessary now to finish the guerrillas. 

"We declared a state of siege so we could kill legally," Rios Montt told a 
group of politicians. The Roman Catholic Conference of Bishops called 
what Rios was doing "genocide."" Following Rios' overthrow, his 
successor Mejia Victores continued the program, proclaiming that model 
villages would be extended throughout the country.'^ 

As the army bombed, strafed and burned village after village, an 
estimated 1 00,000 peasants escaped across the border to Mexico" or to the 
mountainous territory controlled by the guerrillas. Others were captured 
by the military. Many of those who went to the guerrillas were later forced 
by hunger to surrender themselves to the military. Their fate was 
confinement in model villages, what were called strategic hamlets during 
the U.S. assault on Vietnam. In Guatemala there was a plan drawn up 
grouping these in four "poles of development." The scheme piggybacked 
on a series of older plans involving the corruption of cooperatives. 

There was a short-lived cooperative movement in Guatemala in the 
early 1970s, spearheaded by Roman Catholic priests. It was meant to 
provide credit and agricultural support that would obviate the need for 
indigenous people to migrate to coastal regions for ill-paid and unhealthy 
seasonal employment picking coffee and other export crops. At one time it 
involved 750,000 Mayan peasants. U.S. AID provided funds for credit 
unions, and briefly, the movement was sponsored by the Laugurud 
government. Although the cooperatives did not begin to address the basic 
tragedy of the Indian highlands — landlessness — the government's support 
of the program was attacked by the Guatemalan right as "communist." 
The army took over at least one large cooperative and later, when the 
government moved to open up land for settlement by landless Indians, 
large tracts were immediately grabbed up by the military and the wealthy.^" 

In 1977, two Laugurud officials, Col. Fernando Castillo Ramirez, 
director of the National Cooperative Institute, and Leonel Giron, head of 
colonization programs in the northern area (the Franja Transversal del 


Norte) that was to be opened for development, visited Israel. Following 
that visit 

Israeli advisers arrived in Guatemala to plan civil action 
programs in the conflictive Ixcan area, heartland of support for 
the...EGP and scene of constant military repression of local 
cooperative members.^' 

In 1978, Israel began a two-year scholarship program under which 
numerous Guatemalan officers and government officials studied "cooper- 
ativization and rural development," courses provided by the Israeli 
Foreign MinistQ^^s^hiternatiqnal Coogeration^JDivision. Lucas Garcia 
adopited some aspects of Israel's kibbutz and moshav (collective and non- 
collective agricultural settlements, respectively) into his 1979 "Integral 
Plan of Rural Communities" aimed at zones of conflict. 

Israeli techniques — surpassing inspiration that also came from Taiwan 
and South Korea — were also the main guiding principles for the far more 
sweeping "pacification" program designed and implemented in 1 982 under 
Rios Montt. ^2 

The model villages turned the cooperative philosophy of user- or 
owner-control on its head. In the model villages of the Program of 
Assistance to Areas in Conflict (PAAC), food — often donated by inter- 
national relief organizations — was doled out in exchange for compliance 
with the military's orders. 

In model villages the military or military-appointed commis- 
sioners control everything from latrine installation to food 
distribution and have created a structure parallel to civilian 
administration, which is left essentially powerless.^' 

Another twist to the model village scheme is the emphasis on the 
growth of non-traditional specialty crops for export. Air Force Col. 
Eduardo Wohlers, who in 1 982 assumed charge of the civic action aspect of 
PAAC, visited Israel and studied "the elements of agricultural production 
on the kibbutz." Wohlers designed an agricultural collective based on the 
kibbutz^* — a "distorted replica of rural Israel" commented one observer*^ — 
and construction was begun on a prototype in July 1 9 8 3 at Yalihux in Alta 

Col. Wohlers described how the cooperatives would be turned into 
profitable operations: 

We foresee huge plantations of fruit and vegetables, with storage 
and processing facilities and refrigeration plants. We aim to put 
in the entire infrastructure for exporting frozen broccoli, 
Chinese cabbage, watermelons — a total of 15 new crops.*' 

Israel and Central America 121 

Members of the Guatemalan military — many have grown wealthy 
over the last two decades — have invested in warehouses and refrigeration 
facilities in order to realize the economic opportunities of these new 
specialty exports.** One colonel said that the pacification plan called for the 
incorporation of one million people into the poles of development — "the 
entire hinterland."*' 

In addition to training Col. Wohlers and his colleagues, the Israelis 
have provided technical assistance for the model villages.'" 

It is a devilish plan, turning to the world a face of peaceful existence and 
productivity — the perfect model of a "backward" people in the process of 
development. Daily existence in the model villages is a matter of complete 
subjugation. The military assigns inmates to various projects such as road 
building — the roads are to provide the military with access it did not have 
when early in the decade it attacked the highlands — and tells them what 
crops they will plant. Two representatives from each project sit on a central 
decision making board which also includes representatives of the Guate- 
malan military and the civil patrols which they dominate." This "mono- 
lithic structure. ..guards against the risk that the community will develop 
objectives contrary to government or military policy."'^ 

The military has also encouraged the formation of producer associa- 
tions, which give the impression of voluntary organizations.'' 

The domination also has its exploitative angle, as the military controls 
not only each individual's daily life, but is also the sole source of seeds, 
fertilizer and credit. Naturally, the military is also the sole marketing agent 
for the villages' produce.'* 

The comprehensive manner in which villages are governed has 
disrupted traditional of lines of authority. "Previous systems of settling 
disputes and selecting leaders have no meaning in this context."'^ 

The forced relocation has wrenched the indigenous people from their 
land, from which they drew much of their identity, where they buried their 
dead and the umbilical cords of their children." Being forced to grow alien 
crops in the place of the corn which occupies a central place in Mayan 
culture is, as the military is no doubt aware, a "deliberate act of cultural 

Confinement in a model village is sometimes preceded by a term in a 
political "reeducation" camp,'* lasting from two to six months." 

One of the most oppressive features of Guatemala's pacification 
program is the "civilian self-defense patrols,"'"" whose ranks are filled by 
coercion, with most joining out of fear of being called subversive,'"' and 
thus marked for torture or execution. '"^ 


Those who do serve in the patrols must "turn in their quota of 
'subversives.'" Otherwise, "they will be forced to denounce their own 
neighbors and to execute them with clubs and fists in the village plaza.""" 

The patrols are believed by most analysts to have been suggested by 
Israelis.'"* They have had a profound effect on Mayan society, both 
psychologically, "a permanent violation of our values or a new negative 
vision," as the country's Catholic bishops charged,'"' and practically, as 
long shifts on patrol prevent fulfillment of family and economic 

In 1 983 the Guatemalan government estimated that 850 villages in the 
highlands had "self defense" units.'"' The following year the U.S. embassy 
in Guatemala estimated that 700,000 men had been enrolled in the units, '"^ 
armed with Israeli assistance. Currently 900,000 men are organized into 
the civil patrols.'"' 

In late 1 983, U.S. customs agents in Miami held up an Israeli freighter 
carrying 1 2 ,000 rifles— reports varied as to whether they were World War 
I bolt-action Remingtons or Mausers— headed for Guatemala, which chief 
of state Mejia Victores confirmed Guatemala had bought from Israel."" 
Mejia said they were for "troops in training."'" It appears as if these totally 
antiquated arms were purchased after the U.S. turned down an appeal by 
Mejia's predecessor for a donation of "old rifles for use by civil defense 

In May 1984, SI AG (Servicio de Informacion y Analisis de Guate- 
mala) released details of a meeting between U.S. and Israeli representatives 
and members of the Guatemalan government in Guatemala on December 
10 and 12, 1983. 

According to SIAG, plans were formulated at that meeting for 
industrial development in a number of regions, among them the Indian- 
dominated highlands and a stepped-up effort to quell the insurgency, which 
by that time had unified in an umbrella organization URNG (Unidad 
Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca). The report said that the cheap 
labor to run the planned industries would be drawn from the development 

Whether or not this plan is ever fully implemented, the implications of 
the labor conditions already established in the model villages are enormous. 
In 1983, labor leaders charged that work was performed in the model 
villages "without remuneration.""* 

In 1985 inmates of three model villages in Quiche said that they were 
often formed up into press gangs by the army to repair roads, work on 
fortifications, "clear fields of fire," and build new model villages, all 
without pay. Moreover, the residents told a reporter that the work for the 

Israel and Central America 123 

army did not leave time to work the insufficient plots of land they had been 
assigned and that they were not allowed to leave.'" 

Food was obtainable, in at least some instances, only from military 
stores (a version of the company store in so many North American mining 
towns) giving the military yet another means of control over the village 

In 1986, opposition sources within Guatemala also knew of instances 
in which work in the model villages was not performed for wages, but only 
in exchange for staple foods — the very corn and beans the inmates are no 
longer allowed to grow for themselves. In a word, slave labor.'" 

The Guatemalan government, in facing a broad based popular 
movement, has come to resemble the Israelis on the West Bank 
and Gaza: they are an occupying army. They must use force to 
stop dissent, but also need to plan for the more long-range effort 
of social control. Thus the Israeli plans at home provide a 
prototype for solving Guatemalan problems."^ 

It is no accident that the Guatemalans looked to the Israelis for 
assistance in organizing their campaign against the Indians, and having 
followed their mentors' advice, wound up with something that looks quite 
a bit like the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West 
Bank and the Gaza strip. As the Israelis wrecked the local economy and 
turned the occupied territories into a captive market and a cheap labor pool, 
the Guatemalan military has made economic activity in the occupied 
highlands all but impossible."' 

As it is openly acknowledged in the Israeli media that the Palestinian 
population must not be allowed to exceed the Jewish population,'^" it is 
common knowledge that the Guatemalan military would like to reduce the 
Mayan population to a minority.'^' 

But most of all there is the unyielding violence of the suppression. The 
occupation regime Israel has maintained since 1967 over the Palestinians 
(and its occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, the Egyptian Sinai and 
Southern Lebanon) has trained "an entire generation of Israelis.. .to impose 
Israeli rule over subject peoples. "'^^ "The Israeli soldier is a model and an 
example to us," Gen. Benedicto Lucas said in 1981.'^' 

It was in the coercive resettlement program that Israel's activities in 
Guatemala intersected most directly with those of the Christian right 
surrounding the Reagan Administration. This was particularly true during 
the reign of Rios Montt. Montt was a so-called "born-again Christian," a 
member ("elder") of the Areata, California based Church of the Word, a 
branch of Evangelical Gospel Outreach. 


In Guatemala, the Christian right was interested in converts — by the 
end of 1 982 reactionary Protestants had succeeded in recruiting 22 percent 
of the population to their theology of blind obedience and anti-com- 
munism.'^* They were particularly hostile to Catholicism, especially 
"Liberation Theology," which many of the Guatemalan military deemed 
responsible for the insurgency. 

Right-wing Christian organizations seemed to be especially drawn to 
the harsh social control being exerted on the highland Mayans. During the 
Rios Montt period, foreign fundamentalists were permitted access to 
military operational zones, while Catholics were turned away — or at- 
tacked. During this period "many Catholic rectories and churches in 
Quiche [a highland province] [were] turned into Army barracks. "'^^ In late 
1983, the Vatican itself protested the murder of a Franciscan priest in 
Guatemala and the (exiled) Guatemalan Human Rights Commission 
(CDHG) charged that in the space of several months 500 catechists had 
been disappeared. In October the police caught and tortured some religious 

Meanwhile, Rios Montt surrounded himself with advisers, both 
North American and Guatemalan, from his Verbo church, and what 
appeared to be a loose coalition of right-wing fundamentalist organizations, 
most notably Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, began an 
extensive fundraising drive and also started sending volunteers to Ixil 
Triangle villages under military control. Rios Montt chose Love Lift 
International, the "relief arm" of Gospel Outreach, Verbo's parent church, 
to carry the food and supplies purchased with the money raised. Verbo 
representatives, along with an older evangelical outfit, the Wycliffe Bible 
Translators (WBT/SIL, the latter initials for the Summer Institute of 
Linguistics, an organization whose CIA connections are long and impec- 
cable and which has often been charged with involvement in massacres of 
indigenous peoples throughout the Americas), arranged with the govern- 
ment "to take charge of all medical work in the Ixil Triangle, and for all 
education in Indian areas up to the third grade to be taught in Indian 
languages with WBT/SIL assistance," through the Behrhorst Clinic. 
WBT/SIL and the Clinic's parent, the Behrhorst Foundation, incorporated 
with Verbo Church into the Foundation for Aid to the Indian People 
(FUND API), whose stated purpose was to channel international Christian 
donations to refugees and which coordinated volunteers from U.S. right- 
wing religious organizations.'^'' 

Although nothing has yet emerged which definitively ties Israeli 
activities in Guatemala to those of the religious right, it is reasonable to 
assume there is contact. Since the late 1970s the government of Israel has 

Israel and Central America 125 

devoted considerable energy to befriending such political luminaries of 
rightist evangelism as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, having turned to 
these groups after the National Council of Churches passed some mildly 
reproving resolutions about the Middle East. The Christian extremists tell 
Israel what it wants to hear. Jerry Falwell found justification in the Bible for 
an Israel encompassing parts of "Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, 
Sudan and all of Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait."'^^ Pat Robertson praised 
the Reagan Administration's veto of a UN Security Council resolution 
condemning Israel's invasion of Lebanon with some gobbledygook tying 
the invasion to the fundamentalist superstition that Israel will be the site of 
the last battle, Armageddon: "Israel has lit the fuse, and it is a fast burning 
fuse, and I don't think that the fuse is going to be quenched until that region 
explodes in flames. That is my personal feeling from the Bible." '^' 
Robertson urged his viewers to call the White House and voice their 
support for the Israeli invasion. 

Untroubled by the scene in Armageddon when all the Jews will be 
converted (or damned), Israel welcomed the "Christian Voice of Hope" 
radio station and its companion "Star of Hope" television to Southern 
Lebanon, and, even though proseletyzing is illegal in Israel, provided the 
stations with Israeli government newscasts. Supported by donations from 
U.S. right-wing evangelicals, and in particular by Pat Robertson's 
Christian Broadcasting Network, the stations were "used as a military 
tool" by the Israeli proxy South Lebanon Army."" 

Aside from the religious right and their secular allies, the Guatemalan 
model villages have been universally condemned. Until 1985 a bipartisan 
majority opposed the granting of any U.S. aid that would strengthen the 
development poles. '^' This, of course, stopped short of undercutting 
support for the "pacification" program, as funds received from U.S. AID 
and other foreign sources freed up government funds for use on the model 
villages. In 1984, U.S. AID granted Guatemala $1 million which was used 
for constructing infrastructure for the model villages.'" Americas Watch 
Vice Chairman Aryeh Neier pointed out that humanitarian assistance from 
the U.S. has "played an essential role in the Guatemalan Army's 
counterinsurgency programs," enabling the army to distribute (or with- 
hold) food to exact compliance with its resettlement program. '^^ 

Even with the transition to an elected government in 1986, the model 
villages continued under military control. The military made sure of that: 
before it turned power over to its civilian successors, the Mejia Victores 
regime promulgated a series of decrees defining the programs relating to the 
poles of development as part of the "counterinsurgency," and thus its 


The model villages also received the economic backing of the elected 
government of President Vinicio Cerezo, which exempted vegetable 
exports from a proposed tax on exports.'" In the first few months of 
Cerezo's administration, new villages were begun in Alta Verapaz and El 
Quiche departments.''* 

This is not so surprising when it is recalled that the Guatemalan 
military decided to step aside (formally speaking) because during the final 
six years of its rule the nation's once-robust economy had withered. The 
quetzal had declined from its half-century of parity with the dollar to 3.80 
in late 1 985.'" Most foreign funders had conditioned aid to Guatemala on 
the election of a civilian government. Wishing to avoid responsibility for 
the sinking economy, the Guatemalan military ceded some of the trappings 
of power to obtain foreign aid for its pacification program ."^ 

In 1984, elections were held to seat a Constituent Assembly, charged 
with writing a constitution. Two rounds of presidential elections followed 
in late 1 985. While the 1 985 election campaign was in progress Col. Byron 
Disrael Lima, the commander of Quiche department and head of the local 
"Interinstitutional Coordinator," a body set up by the army to extend its 
direct control to every locality, noted that even after the transfer to civilian 
government, military influence on the local body would continue. Lima 
believed that was the natural order of things. He noted that, 

there's a civilian wave in Latin America now, but that doesn't 
mean military men will lose their ultimate power. Latins take 
commands from men in uniform. ..The civilians don't work 
until we tell them to work. They need our protection, control 
and direction. 

Lima went on to express his admiration for Napoleon and Hitler and his 
respect for conquerers and "warriors" like the Israelis.'" 

Also in Quiche, a model village resident said "here we don't know 
about political parties. I don't know what party I would vote for. The 
lieutenant says that political parties are not good for us."'*" 

In June 1986 Guatemalan refugees, Mayans living under the protec- 
tion of sanctuary workers in the U.S., told a reporter for National Public 
Radio that if they return the Cerezo government says they must go first to 
an indoctrination camp and then be assigned to a model village.'*' 

The real tragedy is the number of foreign officials willing to be fooled. 
In January 1985, Rep. Stephen Solarz visited Guatemala City and 
promised a resumption of U.S. aid as soon as power was turned over to a 
civilian government.'"'^ 

In the Autumn of 1 986 President Cerezo toured Europe and assured 
less-than-skeptical heads of state that human rights abuses in Guatemala 

Israel and Central America 


had ceased. Beyond the massive assault on the rights of those confined to 
model villages, the kidnappings, disappearances and broad-daylight execu- 
tions had continued since Cerezo's January 14, 1986 inauguration and 
were still going on as he spoke. The European media carried the allegations 
about the ongoing official violence in Guatemala by representatives of 
GAM, the Mutual Support Group, made up of relatives of the dis- 
appeared,'*' but Germany, France, and Belgium did not flinch from 
commitments made that summer to provide aid to Guatemala.'** 

Inroads into Economic and Political Life 

As with its links to South Africa, Israel's military relations with 
Guatemala have led to a number of economic and political bonds. The 
Guatemalan ambassador to Israel summed up the present state of bilateral 

From Israel, we buy electronics, radar and communications 
equipment and we send it civilian machinery for repairs. 
Likewise, dozens of young Guatemalan professionals attend 
international cooperation centers to acquire Israeli know-how, 
especially in agronomic industry. Israel imports from Guate- 
mala coffee, cardamom, precious wood, Guatemalan crafts, 
sesame and nickel amongst others, and provides technical 
assistance for the exploitation of Guatemala's many natural 
resources. This forms the basis for the excellent relations that 
fortunately exist between the peoples and governments of 
Guatemala and Israel.'*^ 

For Guatemala, it was easy: "We're isolated internationally," said a 
prominent Guatemalan. "The only friend we have left in the world is 
Israel."'*^ Toward the end of his rule, Gen. Mejia Victores was scheduled 
to visit Israel but had to cancel the trip when a political and economic crisis 
erupted.'*' As with the leaders of the apartheid government, the Guate- 
malan head of state would not have received a warm welcome in many 
other countries. 

The bonds have been building for several years. On June 15, 1982, 
just nine days after Israel invaded Lebanon, Guatemala's Minister of 
Economy Julio Matheu Duchez visited Israel to sign a trade agreement 
under which each nation granted the other "most-favored nation" status 
and pledged to cooperate in the fields of industry, agriculture, development. 


and tourism. Signing for Israel was Trade and Industry Minister Gideon 
Pat, who disclosed that a joint commission of representatives from each 
country would meet "from time to time" to monitor the agreement's 

According to George Black, the tourism component of the agreement 
involved a special pitch to Jewish communities in New York, Miami and 
Los Angeles about the wonders of Guatemala. Discussions were held 
between Israel's El Al airlines, Guatemala's AVIATECA and Air Florida 
about joint promotion campaigns involving the Sheraton Hotel in Guate- 
mala City. The hotel is owned by the Kong family, "which has extensive 
links to the far-right Movement of National Liberation (MLN).">*' 

American Jews might be targeted because apparently it is not safe for 
Israelis to tour Guatemala. The Israeli consul in Guatemala said he could 
not guarantee one of his countrymen's safety. '™ The threat might not come 
only from the insurgents: by 1985 there were complaints among Guate- 
malan noncombatants about Israel's extensive involvement in Guatemala's 
internal affairs. 

On November 17, 1983, according to the Guatemala-based Central 
America Report, the two signed another trade and economic cooperation 
agreement, its purpose "to strengthen friendly and commercial relations 
and to facilitate as far as possible economic cooperation on a basis of 
equality and mutual ad vantages. "'^^ 

Israel also promised help with Guatemala's telephone system,'" and 
an Israeli arms dealer set up a school for training telephone company 
personnel. 'J* 

Israeli firms are now said to have extensive agribusiness investments, 
held through intermediaries, in Guatemala.'^^ 

Israeli "security" firms have also found employment in Guatemala, 
sending rent-a-Rambo commandos to implement security for wealthy 
planters. These portable goon squads, which have proliferated in Israel as 
the large officer corps reaches retirement age in a soured economy, are by 
no means strictly private operations. All must pass a government test and all 
the techniques and equipment they take abroad must be approved by the 
defense ministry.'^' 

Israel's Tadiran and South Africa's Consolidated Power have estab- 
lished a joint undertaking in Guatemala to assemble and sell electronic 
equipment.'^' Always eager for international contact. South Africa fol- 
lowed Israel to Guatemala where it too is involved in advising the 
"pacification" program.'^^ \^ gaj.|y 1980s, the white government also 
offered to send counterinsurgency troops to Guatemala.'^' The relation- 
ship clicked with the Guatemalan military. In August 1986, the army 

Israel and Central America 129 

overrode the national assembly's motion to break diplomatic relations with 
the apartheid regime.'^" 

Israel began dealing arms out of Guatemala. Eagle Military Gear 
Overseas set up shop on a secure floor of the Cortijo Reforma Hotel in 
Guatemala City, opposite army headquarters. In 1 982 Ignacio Klich wrote 
that Eagle's Tel Aviv headquarters was referring Central American buyers 
to its regional sales office in Guatemala.'" Also known as Eagle Israeli 
Armaments and Desert Eagle, the company is owned by Pesakh Ben-Or, 
an Israeli paratrooper who got his start in arms dealing as chauffeur for 
another Israeli arms dealer. '^^ By one account Ben-Or drove for David 
Marcus Katz, an Israeli who has lived for many years in Mexico and is 
known as one of Israel's major arms dealers.'*^ 

Under the military regime, Ben-Or's links to the Guatemalans were 
said to be so good that 

almost all the representatives of the Israeli arms factories, 
security apparatus and electronics firms who want to establish 
connections in Guatemala arrive at the conclusion that it is better 
to do it through him.'** 

That includes the giants Israeli Military Industries and Tadiran — Ben- 
Or claims to have had a hand in the army communications school — 
although these behemoths are said not to have a high opinion of him."' 

According to a contra leader, the contras' chief link to Israel is through 
the Israeli embassy in Guatemala City. Pesakh Ben-Or also sold arms to the 
contras through the armed forces of Honduras, although it is not clear 
whether he made the sale through Eagle in Guatemala or from his residence 
in Miami.'*' 

Israel got close enough to Guatemala to exercise more than a bit of 
leverage in internal Guatemalan affairs. There was the overthrow of Chief 
of State Romeo Lucas Garcia and his replacement with Rios Montt. There 
was also Israel's more than active interest in the 1985 Guatemalan 
presidential elections. 

Although it was very evident to journalists that Israel did not enjoy 
wide popularity among the population as a whole,'*' Israel had clout where 
it mattered, as was demonstrated early on in the campaign, when all the 
major candidates met with Latin American B'nai B'rith representatives and 
pledged to work on the continued improvement of relations with Israel. 
The candidate of the ultra-right MLN party, Mario Sandoval Alarcon, 
pledged to move Guatemala's embassy to Jerusalem.'** 

Israel was trying very hard in 1985 to persuade Guatemala — and 
Haiti, Honduras, Panama and Uruguay — to follow in the footsteps of El 
Salvador and move to Jerusalem.'*' Already very close to Israel in 1980, 


when the UN asked all governments to relocate their embassies to Tel 
Aviv, Guatemala resisted the move. However, threatened by Arab buyers 
of its important cardamom crop, Guatemala reluctantly transferred its 
embassy. At the same time its foreign ministry said the move to Tel Aviv 
"would not alter Guatemala's traditional political stance toward Israel."''" 

Pesakh Ben-Or promised a $ 1 0,000 campaign contribution to one of 
the candidates, Jorge Carpio Nicolle, "and at a certain stage an additional 
$50,000 was spoken of."''' This is only one of many reports of Israeli 
contributions, which are often made to defense ministries in hopes of 
gaining arms contracts.'" Ben-Or also hired Israelis to train a team of 
bodyguards for candidate Carpio."' 

Initially favored by the U.S., Carpio was openly antagonistic to 
Nicaragua""* while Christian Democrat Vinicio Cerezo made it clear that 
he would follow the military's policy of neutrality in the region and steer 
clear of cooperating with the Reagan Administration's activities against 
Nicaragua. Cerezo won. 

Although candidate Cerezo said he would look into Israel's relations 
with the military,'" when he worked out a deal with the military (pledging 
no Argentine-style trials and no interference with such "security" matters 
as the development poles) and promised the landed aristocracy that there 
would be no agrarian reform,"* he might have included maintenance of the 
Israeli connection as part of the package. Attending Cerezo's inauguration, 
Israel's labor minister somewhat embarrasedly explained to the new 
president that Israel was not involved in Ben-Or's campaign activities.'" 

When Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir visited Central America the 
following May, Guatemala was one of the stops on his itinerary. It was 
expected that Shamir would receive a chilly reception, "^ but from what 
could be observed, he had a full measure of official attention, meeting with 
President Cerezo and addressing the national legislature."' 

Whether or not Israel was disappointed with the outcome of the 
elections, Hebrew-speaking security operatives stood guard at the election 
night press center.'^" A few weeks after the inauguration of President 
Cerezo, Defense Minister Gen. Jaime Hernandez Mendez said that the 
Israeli ambassador to Guatemala had recently offered military cooperation 
to the new government'" and, despite expectations that the U.S. would 
displace Israel as Guatemala's prime military supplier, an Israeli source said 
that Israel might indeed increase its military links with Guatemala. '^^ 
notable, however, that in restructuring the police, the Cerezo government 
looked to Spain, Mexico and Venezuela for training and equipment.'" 

Relations with civilian-run Guatemala remained cordial enough for 
Israel to take on a bit of international diplomacy. During a July 1986 visit to 

Israel and Central America 


Israel, Manuel Esquivel, the prime minister of Belize, asked the Israeli 
government to "use its influence" and act as a restraining force on 
Guatemala. Esquivel said that Israel's arms sales to Guatemala gave the 
Jewish state the "right to speak about, to influence the use of those arms."'^"* 

In September 1 984, Belize, formerly British Honduras, had established 
diplomatic relations with Israel for that very reason. Belize was in constant 
fear of its neighbor, whose military rulers frequently trumpeted their 
irredentist claims (usually when the Guatemalan economy merited having 
popular attention deflected elsewhere). '^^ 

During Esquivel's 1986 visit, Israel was able to score a minor 
diplomatic coup by bringing the Guatemalan ambassador to Israel to a state 
dinner in his honor. The two sat at the same table.'^* It was the first time 
that representatives of the two countries had such a meeting. Shortly after 
the dinner encounter, Guatemala's President Vinicio Cerezo said if a 
delegation from Belize came to Guatemala and requested a meeting he 
would be happy to meet with them.'^' 

Considering that the election that brought Cerezo to power was 
geared toward obtaining aid from European nations, Guatemala was not 
lacking in motivation to attend the dinner: better relations with Britain, a 
member of the European Community would certainly help that process 
along. Guatemala was at the same time moving toward the reestablish- 
ment of diplomatic relations with London, broken in 1 98 1 over the issue of 
Belize. '^' Although given independence in 1 98 1 , Belize has been protected 
against Guatemala by a garrison of British soldiers. Nonetheless, it is not 
often that Israel, in its international isolation, has had an opportunity to 
play such a role. 

Israeli advisers continue to work in Guatemala. During his 1 986 visit, 
Shamir said he had offered to increase the technical and scientific links that 
bring many Guatemalans on scholarship to Israel each year. Exactly how 
many are involved in the development poles is not known. An Israeli 
foreign ministry spokesperson admitted to three Israelis, t eaching "irri ga- 
tion and^ te chniq ues for org^anizing youthjrioyemgnts and community 
centers." "' The numbers are also probably euphemistic. 

Certainly the advisers are not a democratizing force. Mercedes Sotz 
Cate, the financial secretary of the Guatemalan Municipal Workers Union, 
was seized and tortured for five hours on February 12,1986. His abduction 
came at the beginning of a violent union-busting campaign by the mayor of 
Guatemala City, Alvaro Arzu Irigoyen. Sotz said that his torturers were 
Israeli agents in the employ of the mayor. When questioned, Arzu 
"admit[ted] only to people of different nationality who work for the city 


without a salary." At least one Israeli was identified as part of a group 
"advising" the municipality and Arzu confirmed this."^ 

As to Israel's influence over Guatemala: whatever else it was, it made 
the military government impervious to U.S. wishes. In 1979 the Carter 
Administration proposed restoring a $250,000 military training grant to 
Guatemala out of concern "that U.S. relations with the Guatemalan 
military were deteriorating to the point of endangering all of Washington's 
mfluence in the largest and most populous Central American country." 

The Carter State Department wanted to have Guatemalan officers and 
military technicians back for training in the U.S. "as a wedge to get back on 
better terms with the military leaders.""' Congress didn't buy this, just as it 
did not yield to the Reagan Administration's far more passionate represen- 
tations for a reestablishment of ties with Guatemala. 

The extent of Guatemala's independence from U.S. pressure was 
clearly evident in 1983 and 1984, when the Reagan Administration was 
trying to organize Central America against Nicaragua. Guatemala refused 
to participate in the reactivation of CONDECA, a regional military pact 
established in 1964, and, irrespective of the shrill anti-communism of its 
domestic politics, continued to adhere to a neutral— sometimes an even 
vaguely supportive— position toward Nicaragua. A National Security 
Council document classed this position "a continuing problem" and 
proposed increasing pressure on Guatemala."* 

Indeed, while ignorning Reagan entreaties for cooperation, the 
Guatemalan government under Mejia Victores sought to approach Wash- 
ington through Israel, lobbying the 1 1th convention of the Federation of 
Jewish Communities of Central America and Panama, held in Guatemala 
City, to help Guatemala improve its relations with the U.S. Addressing the 
convention, Guatemala's foreign minister "denounced U.S. policy toward 
Guatemala as not equitable and praised Israel's friendship and coop- 

Abdication of Responsibility 

It is a mistake to conclude that U.S. complicity in the genocidal war of 
the Guatemalan generals ended when the Carter Administration pulled the 
plug on military aid in 1 977. When the U.S. intervened in Guatemala and 
overthrew its liberal, democratically elected government in 1954,"^ it 
effectively transferred rule to the country's military, which has held power 
ever since. Even the civilian presidency of Julio Cesar Mendez Montenegro 

Israel and Central America 133 

was (with U.S. acquiescence) immediately subjugated by the military."' 
To cite only one example of the continuity that makes the last three tragic 
decades of Guatemala a U.S. responsibility: the dossiers that formed the 
basis of the intelligence unit G-2's death squad selection process also date 
back to 1 954. After the fall of the government of Jacobo Arbenz, the army 
confiscated the membership lists of the many organizations which had 
blossomed during the all-too-short hiatus between repressive regimes — 
Guatemala was ruled by the oppressive dictator Jorge Ubico until 1 945, 
when he was bloodlessly replaced by a popular government under Dr. Juan 
Jose Arevalo — and from these lists culled 70,000 "communists." These 
files were updated during the 1960s and used for assassinations during a 
U.S. -supported counterinsurgency."^ In the 1970s Israel stepped in and 
helped with the computerization of the whole bloody system. 

It does not take convoluted reasoning to conclude that "both the U.S. 
and Israel bear rather serious moral responsibility" for Guatemala."' Since 
1978, however, Congress has done little more than beat down the most 
outrageous of President Reagan's requests for aid for the military regime. 
Nor did large numbers of peace and solidarity activists mount an active 
campaign, even when the slaughter reached a peak. 

Major Israeli Weapons Sales to Guatemala 



Reference Source 

7 201-IAI Arava 

10 201-IAI Arava 

5 troop-carrying 
Asimo helicopters 

10 RBY MK armored 

Ordered and delivered 

Ordered 1977; deliv- 
ered 1977-78 

Delivered 1974-77 

5 field kitchens 

4 delivered 1974-77 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1977, p. 316. 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1978, p 262; 
SIPRI, Yearbook, 1979, pp. 

"Growing Arms Race in Cen- 
tral America May Heat up Re- 
gion, " Christian Science 
Monitor, 28 October 1981. 

U.S. Congress, House, Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs, Eco- 
nomic and Military Aid 
Programs, p 84. 

Ibid.; Klieman, Israel's Global 
Reach, p. 135. 






Reference Source 

50,000 Galil assault 

1,000 machine guns 

3 naval coast guard 

(Dabur boats) 

Grenade launchers 
81-mm mortars 
120 tons of ammuni- 

Bulletproof vests 
Military tents 

Tear gas 
Gas masks 

Fire ejectors 

Tactical transmission 

Radar system 

High-tech products: 

• Radar 

• Intelligence infor- 
mation computing 

15,000 delivered 

Talks started in 1978 

Arrived in Guatemala's 
Santo Tomas de Castilla 
port 3 months after sus- 
pension of U. S. military 

Bought by Interior 
Minister Donaldo Al- 
varez in 1980 visit to 

Used to burn bushes 
and people. Captured 
by EGP from govern- 
ment troops 

Cover the whole coun- 
try. Bought 1977 or 

Has 5 receivers. Bought 
end 1980. Israeli con- 
trolled and directed 

Christian Science Monitor, 28 
October 1981. 


Mauricio Goldstein, "Con 
Armas Israelis Asesinan al 
Pueblo Guatemalteco, " Punto 
Final Internacional, August 
1981, p 14; interview with 
"Emilcar," nom de guerre, 
high ranking official in the Po- 
litical Wing of the Guatemalan 
EGP, Managua, Nicaragua, 18 
August 1982. 

Goldstein, Punto Final Inter- 
nacional, August 1981, p 14; 
Nuevo Diario, 28 September 

Ha'aretz, April 1979, quoted 
in Ignacio Klich, "Guatemala's 
Back- Door Arms Deals," 8 
Days, 13 March 1982. 

Interview with Emilcar 


Ibid.; "Israel Aliado de la Dic- 
tadura Guatemalteca," OLP 
Informa (Mexico City), April 
1982, p 8. 

Ibid.; News from Cuatemala 3 
(October 1981): 1. 

Latin America Weekly Report, 
5 September 1980, p 8; El 
Dia, 8 May 1982: interview 
with Emilcar; John Rettie, 

Israel and Central America 





Reference Source 

and communica- 
tions equipment 
• Radar circuits to . 
detect guerrillas 
smuggling arms 


5 million rifle bul- 


Bought in 1977 for $1.8 
million through David 
Marcus Katz 

Shipload light arms 65 tons delivered 1977 

10,000 105-mm 
HEAT (high-ex- 
plosive anti-tank) 

Kfir fighters 

Supplied 1981-82 to 
the army for $6 million 

Unspecified number 

Manchester Guardian Weekly, 
10 January 1982. 

Le Monde, 25 January 1979. 

Excelsior, 18 July 1977, p 2A; 
interview with Emilcar. 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1980, p 144. 
SIPRI, Yearbook 1982, p 188. 

Klieman, Israel's Global 
Reach, p 135. 

Chart from Bishara Bahbah, Israel and Latin America: The Military Connection, New York: St. Martin'.s, 1986. 

Nicaragua Under Somoza 

Stretching Somoza's Lifeline 

With few qualms and minimal outside criticism, Israel came to the 
rescue of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle and, from 
September 1978toJuly 1979, helped him stave off history. Later itwould 
be thrown up to Israel that when Washington and just about every other 
government in the world was boycotting Somoza, Israel had been willing 
to provide him with weapons. 

But Israel was indebted to Nicaragua, was always the rejoinder. The 
"debt" in actuality was not to Nicaragua, but to the father of Somoza 
Debayle, Anastasio Somoza Garcia, who had been installed as head of the 
National Guard by the U.S. marines in 1 93 3 and had muscled his way into 
what he called the "presidency"— it was definitely the top spot in the 
government — the following year. 

Somoza Garcia was assassinated in 1956. For the next eleven years a 
son Luis and a chorus line of Somoza relatives filled his position, which was 
finally assumed by his son Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The debt of which 
the Israelis speak was incurred in the late 1 930s when Somoza Garcia acted 
as a front for arms purchases the pre-state Zionist military forces, the 
Haganah, made in Europe. He was well paid for the trouble he took to sign 
his name to the required documents. 



After World War II, Somoza gave Haganah buyers Nicaraguan 
diplomatic passports and again signed the receipts for the weapons they 
purchased. He took cash up front for his services, over $200,000 deposited 
in his personal New York bank account and a large diamond and some other 
gifts on the side. He never complained about a balance due.' 

Some Israeli leaders might have cherished feelings of gratitude for 
Anastasio Somoza Garcia. They might have wanted to do his son, who 
visited Israel in 1 96 1 ^ a good turn. That there was a distinction between the 
national entity, Nicaragua, blurred as it was by four decades of Somozas 
who owned much of the country as well as ruled it, and the Somoza family 
dynasty might not have occurred to the Israelis. It is remarkable that it has 
not occurred to many in the United States. 

If scales must be used, it should be taken into account that, following a 
technical aid agreement in 1 966, Israel made Nicaragua a major beneficiary 
of its development programs. It also provided emergency relief after 
Nicaragua was devastated by an earthquake in 1972.' 

To reckon its debt to the Somozas, Israel sometimes notes the 
unswerving support Nicaragua gave it at the UN, voting in favor of Israel 
more often than the U.S.!* Those votes, however, did not represent the 
people of Nicaragua; they reflected the Somoza family's political interests, 
primarily staying in the good graces of U.S.-connected loan givers. 
Somoza Debayle was notorious for taking heavy commissions on loans to 
the Nicaraguan government — sometimes even pocketing the loans them- 
selves. Part of the $ 1 .6 billion debt left when he was driven from Nicaragua 
was for loans to his own and his associates' private businesses. (The new 
Nicaraguan government reluctantly assumed all the dictator's debts, as that 
was the only way to obtain credit with Western lenders.^) 

These Israeli debts were repaid in a strange coin to the people of 
Nicaragua, who were bombed and shot with Israeli-supplied ordnance in a 
carnage that went on for weeks, if not months, longer than it would have 
without help from Israel, which supplied 98 percent of the dictator's 
weaponry during the last six months of his rule.' 

Somoza had been introduced to Israeli weapons in 1974 at a special 
showing arranged for him in Managua.' He had bought Dabur class patrol 
boats and Arava STOL aircraft; by the time he fought his final battle he 
would have 14 Aravas to rush his troops from place to place. ^ 

Soon after Somoza's U.S. aid was blocked, insurrection flared against 
him. In September 1978, there was fighting in most of Nicaragua's cities 
and a massive general strike in Managua that was supported by virtually the 
entire business community. Somoza shot his way out of it. His National 
Guard used 1 ,000 Uzi submachine guns and Galil rifles from Israel, and 

Israel and Central America 


Somoza was expecting "thousands more" Galils.' Although most Latin 
American leaders were hoping for his downfall, Somoza survived the 
September challenge. "Israeli-made weapons helped to save the Somoza 
dynasty," read one headline.'" 

That autumn, Israeli rifles and ammunition arrived in large quantities. 
Some of the Galil rifles were "sent directly to a special terror unit 
commanded by Somoza's son, which carried out the murder of political 
opponents, among them women and children."" The Guard also used the 
new Israeli weapons in its "clean-up" operations, which went on during 
October 1 9 78 in half a dozen cities. The majority of the victims — many of 
them were shot by the Guard at their own front doors — were between 1 4 
and 2 1 years of age and were marked for execution simply because they 
lived in neighborhoods where the Sandinista National Liberation Front 
(FSLN) had been active.'^ 

An Israeli adviser "who presented himself as an Israeli army officer" 
was also present in Nicaragua and worked in Somoza's bunker in Managua. 
The adviser allegedly represented David Marcus Katz, the Mexico-based 
Israeli arms dealer with close ties to the right wing Israeli settlers 
movement. Gush Emunim." 

Israeli arms shipments continued to arrive. Several shipments came by 
air and were delivered at night during a curfew. Among the weapons 
delivered this way were surface-to-air missiles (although the Sandinistas 
did not have an air force). Israel had at one point given its word that it 
would not ship arms to Somoza. Now it denied doing so, but U.S. officials 
said that Israeli arms were still arriving in Nicaragua. "Our people in 
Managua tell us that the streets are starting to look like Jerusalem because 
the National Guard is wearing Israeli berets," said one U.S. official.'* 

By the following spring Israel was sending Somoza really big stuff: 
nine combat-armed Cessna aircraft and two Sikorsky helicopters. The 
FSLN shbt down seven of the Cessnas.'^ Somoza got better use out of the 
helicopters, which he called "skyraiders."'* He had his Guards use them as 
platforms for machine gun strafing; and from 3,000 feet above ground, 
soldiers rolled bombs out of the helicopter doors. '^ 

"The Government is dropping 500-pound bombs from helicopters on 
rebel-held shantytowns, reportedly killing as many as 600 people in one 
day. Soldiers routinely kill suspected rebels they capture," wrote the New 
York Times correspondent in Managua of the final weeks of the war.'^ After 
having all but five cities and a great part of Nicaragua's industrial 
infrastructure destroyed," on July 17, 1979, Somoza cleaned out the 
national treasury and fled the country. 


Less than three weeks earher, Israel had at last agreed to honor a 
request from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to halt its weapons shipments 
to Nicaragua. Israel ordered a freighter carrying two patrol boats to divert 
its course from Nicaragua, and "agreed to call off other planned shipments 
of ammunition and weaponry to Somoza for the time being. "2" Somoza 
claimed that another ship carrying Israeli weapons was turned back only 
miles from Nicaragua's coast and he could not get that shipment out of his 
mind. The arms it carried, he said, 

had been paid for before the ship ever left Israel... That ship 
carried, among other military items, ten thousand anti-tank and 
anti-personnel grenade rifles with ammunition... That precious 
cargo could have won the war for the anti-Communist forces of 
Nicaragua... Somewhere in Israel there is a large consignment of 
arms and ammunition which could have saved Nicaragua. 

Certainly there had been some criticism of Israel's role in the bloody 
war against the Nicaraguan population. The opposition newspaper La 
Prensa had said that the Nobel Peace Prize given to Israeli Prime Minister 
Menachem Begin was "tainted" by Israel's arms sales to Somoza." And the 
Costa Rican paper La Republica wrote that "the whole world should join in 
asking Israel to stop sending weapons of aggression, oppression and 

But in the United States, where the Carter human rights doctrine had 
supposedly constituted a decisive step in the right direction, there were 
blank stares— in the other direction. Somoza's henchmen are said to have 
killed one member of every family in Nicaragua. It seems fairly obvious in 
retrospect that many Nicaraguan lives might have been saved had peace and 
solidarity activists in this country made loud and persistent demands that 
Israeli arms shipments be stopped. 

There had been so little public interest in what Israel was doing for 
Somoza, however, that the State Department felt secure in dishing out 
nonsense on the subject. A representative from Nicaragua's Broad Opposi- 
tion Front visited Washington in November 1978 to ask the Carter 
Administration to stop the Israeli arms shipments. A State Department 
source said the appeal had been rejected and that the administration had 
decided not to prevent Israel from supplying "light weapons" to Somoza: 
"If Somoza goes, we would prefer to see him go peacefully. We would not 
like to see him toppled in an armed revolt." The thinking was that, given 
time, a "moderate element" might emerge to succeed the dictator. 

Forcing Israel to stop supplying Somoza with arms "remained a U.S. 
option that might be used in the future," continued the source, who 
expressed confidence that although there was no legal mechanism by which 

Israel and Central America 141 

the U.S. could stop Israel, U.S. influence could certainly force a halt to 
Israeli gunrunning.^^ 

When the administration fin3ily did compel a halt to the Israeli arms 
shipments the reason it gave was strikingly similar: "additional arms would 
undercut efforts to replace Somoza with a moderate government."" 

In the aftermath of the war, leaders of the victorious FSLN presented 
Cuban leader Fidel Castro with a Galil rifle captured from the National 
Guard. Nicaragua repudiated the small debt remaining on the books for 
Somoza's arms purchases from Israel." Relations between Israel and the 
new Nicaraguan government were frosty; according to one account the 
nonresident Israeli ambassador to Nicaragua did not receive accreditation 
from the new government. 2** Nicaragua invited the PLO, with which some 
of the Sandinistas had long had close ties, to establish an embassy in 
Managua and in 1981 warmly welcomed the organization's leader, Yasir 
Arafat. On August 6, 1982, citing the "annihilation" of Lebanese and 
Palestinians during Israel's siege of Beirut, Nicaragua announced that it was 
breaking diplomatic relations with Israel.^' 

There is a certain symmetry to all the indebtedness: Somoza I giving 
his friendship for cash in advance; Somoza II giving his support at the UN, 
and then paying cash up front for weapons. And then, years later, the 
wretched remnants of the National Guard turning up in Israel, claiming 
that last boatload of weapons. By then they were called contras. 

There is another dire symmetry to this story: while Israel's relatively 
autonomous aid to Somoza delighted the forces of the far-right who were 
blocked by the Carter Administration from aiding him themselves, when 
the contras were created and thrown against Nicaragua by the Reagan 
Administration, Israel was a reluctant participant, but nonetheless a key 
one, demanding a heavy price for its help. 

Major Israeli Weapons Sales to Nicaragua 



Reference Source 

14 201-IAI Arava Ordered 1973. 5 deliv- 
planes ered 1974, the rest 

1975-77. Unit cost 

4 armed patrol boats Only one or two are 
left. Somoza loyalists 
used the rest to flee 

SIPRI, Yearbook 1974. p. 282, 
Yearbook, 1975, p. 240, Year- 
book, 1977, p. 330. 

Newsweek, 20 November 
1978, p. 68; Interview with 
Marwan Tahbub, PLO Ambas- 
sador, Managua, Nicaragua, 15 
August 1982. 





Reference Source 

1 light military 
transport plane 

67 tactical radios 

Small patrol boat 
Heavy mortars 
Machine guns 

Heavy combat tanks 
Light artillery 
Missile launchers 
Patrol vehicles 

2-3 radars 


Flack jackets 


500 Uzi submachine 

500 Gahl assault ri- 

5 plane loads of 

Most likely Westwind Le Monde, 4 July 1979. 

2 plane loads of 

Delivered 1974-77, Val- 
ued at $0.3 million 

Delivered 1978 

Old Sherman tanks de- 
livered May 1975. 
Other cargo ships were 
in route 

Delivered to Somoza 
but no time to set them 

Anti-aircraft, surface-to- 
surface missiles and 
ground-to-ground mis- 
siles. Delivered secretly 
by two Israeli planes 

Delivered November 
1978. Planes landed at 
a private track in Mon- 
telimar, east of Man- 

Delivered at Las Mer- 
cedes Airport 
November 1978. Other 
sources indicated there 
were 3 planes 

U.S. Congress, House, Com- 
mittee on Foreign Affairs, Eco- 
nomic and Military Aid 
Programs, p 84. 

Latin America Weekly Report, 
16 May 1980, p 10. 

Ha'aretz, 10 May 1978; inter- 
view with Ambassador Tah- 

Interview with Ambassador 

Newsweek, 20 November 
1978, p 68. 

Ibid.; New York Times, 19 
November 1978; Excelsior, 8 
June 1979, p 20A. 

Newsweek, 20 November 
1978, p 68; Haolam Haze, 4 
October 1978. 

El Sol, 18 November 1978. 

Jerusalem Post, 15 November 
1978; Newsweek, 20 November 
1978, p 68. 

Israel and Central America 





Reference Source 

Sea-to-sea missiles 

T-54 and T-55 

World Business, 6 October 

Klieman, Israel's Global 
Reach, p 135. 

Chart from Bishara Bahbah, hrael and Latin America: The Military Connection, New York: St. Maj 

Israel and the Contras 

Some accounts set the commencement of Israeli aid to the contras as far 
back as their launching in 1979.' It is even possible that Israel made a 
seamless transition from Somoza to the contras through its contacts with 
some of the figures in the private network that was exposed when the 
Iran-contra scandal broke in November 1986 (see below). A part of this 
network "began funneling aid to Somoza via Israel and EATSCO," a 
shipping company created by other members of the network to take 
advantage of the U.S. weapons Egypt would be receiving as a result of the 
Camp David accords, after the Carter Administration cut off aid to 
Nicaragua.^ When the dictator was ousted, network associates of former 
CIA agent Edwin Wilson — now serving time in federal prison for selling 
explosives to Libya, among other deeds — and former CIA agent Thomas 
Clines transferred a "security assistance program" they had put together 
for Somoza to the contras.' This would have involved outfitting the dregs 
of Somoza's secret police in Honduras, a cynical holding operation that 
continued until January 1981, when the Reagan Administration took 

One of the administration's first moves was to arrange with Argentina 
for trainers for the contras. Veterans of the Argentine "dirty war" were 
enthusiastic about exporting their skills and their politics. They trained the 
contras until Washington and Buenos Aires came to a parting of the ways, 
after the Reagan Administration sided with Britain during the Mal- 



vinas/Falklands War.^ During the Argentine period, the Israeli ambassador 
to Costa Rica supplied the contras with passports and aliases so that they 
could travel through Central America/ Besides traveling for their own 
"business," at least one contra has been implicated in a Central American 
assassination: that of the revered Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar 
Arnulfo Romero.' 

At the same time, the administration approached Israel to become 
mvolved in the assault on Nicaragua: in a pattern that was later to become 
apparent as the raison d'etre of the Iran-contra scandal, sometime before June 
1 98 1 Israel was provided with satellite pictures of Iraq's nuclear reactor at 
Osirak "within the framework of an appeal to Israel for help to the 
contras." Israel used the pictures to destroy the reactor.* It is not known to 
what extent, if any, Tel Aviv responded to the administration's appeal. 

By late 1 982, however, Nicaragua was accusing Israel of arming and 
aiding the rag-tag bands of National Guardsmen in Honduras.' 

The best-substantiated knowledge of Israel's entry into the war 
against Nicaragua is its agreement with the CIA in either 1981 or 1982 to 
supply East bloc weapons to the then-covert mercenary operation. After 
having been "restrained" a bit by Congress during the 1 970s, the CIA was 
experiencing difficulty procuring "untraceable" weapons for the contras 
and was embarrassed when some of the mercenaries appeared on U.S. 
television in early 1982 brandishing U.S. weapons. In a display of caution 
that would mark all their dealings with the contras, the Israeli government 
made a pretense of refusing U.S. requests for such weapons "through 
normal diplomatic channels," while some former Israeli intelligence 
officials approached the CIA with an offer to supply East bloc arms, which 
Israel has in abundance. The Agency assumed that the offer had the 
backing, awareness or sponsorship of the Israeli government. There is 
some question as to whether the CIA accepted this particular offer,'" but an 
arrangement was indeed made in the early 1 980s to supply the contras with 
East bloc light arms and shoulder-fired missiles, selling the weapons 
through the CIA, which in turn passed them on to the contras and the 
Afghan rebels. This particular arrangement apparently continued until 
1986, "[w]hen the Israelis presented their bill for $50 million... [and] the 
CIA pleaded poverty, paying $30 million in arms, not cash."" 

Former FDN Director Edgar Chamorro said the contras were 
speaking of Israel as an international supporter in 1982.12 December of 
that year, the FDN leadership met with Ariel Sharon, Israel's defense 
minister, while he was on a visit to Honduras. An arrangement was made at 
that time to funnel Israeli-held East bloc arms to the contras through 
Honduras. '3 

Israel and Central America 147 

Sharon's activities during and after that visit suggest that he and Gen. 
Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, the head of Honduras' armed forces, made the 
Reagan Administration an offer to take over the contra program. In Israel 
recriminations were being directed at Sharon over the debacle of Israel's 
invasion of Lebanon, which Sharon had muscled through the government. 
Sharon arrived unannounced in Honduras, because, it was said, no one in 
Washington had been willing to receive him.'* He would shordy be 
relieved of his defense portfolio following an investigation that established 
his responsibility in the massacres of Palestinians in the Sabra and Chatila 
refugee camps. 

Accompanying Sharon were the director of the Israeli defense 
ministry and David Marcus Katz, Israel's Mexico-based arms agent. 

Although Sharon denied having come to deal arms, news immediately 
spread that he and Alvarez were trying to close a deal for Israel's Kfir C-2 
jet fighter planes.'* 

As the Kfir contains a U.S. -made engine, Israel needed U.S. permis- 
sion to sell the aircraft to Honduras. Washington had been refusing to sell 
Honduras the comparable F-5 because it did not want to introduce a new 
level of sophistication in the region's armaments. It was feared that 
acquisition by Honduras of such an advanced plane would justify 
Nicaragua's obtaining the equivalent MiG; and that, the administration had 
made excruciatingly clear, would be regarded as a "provocation"'^ likely to 
be met with an airstrike — or worse. 

Even though there could be no deal for the Kfir without the blessing of 
the U.S., Alvarez and Sharon agreed to the sale of 12 of the aircraft,'* at a 
price of $100 million. Honduras had no money for the deal (and lots of 
starving, illiterate people, but that didn't bother either buyer or seller), so 
Sharon asked the Reagan Administration to finance it." An agreement 
Israel signed with the U.S. in 1979 included such a funding mechanism, 
which is most unusual, as it flies in the face of the rationale for U.S. military 
assistance— the recipient must "buy American. "^o However, until late 
1986 there was no evidence that Washington had ever contemplated 
bankrolling an Israeli arms sale. 

The only thing that could possibly have tempted the Reagan White 
House into such a deal would have been a Sharon- Alvarez proposal to take 
over the contras, which were then in the process of being abandoned by 
their Argentine trainers. 

There is no question that Sharon and Alvarez would have enjoyed 
leading the mercenaries into Nicaragua. Alvarez was an obsessive anti- 
communist and an advocate of the Argentine-style security state. Whether 
against Nicaragua or his domestic oponents, he advocated "preventive" 


war without frontiers.^' Ariel Sharon once said Israel's own "strategic and 
security concerns" stretched from Central Africa to "beyond the Arab 
countries in the Middle East."^^ Going in the other direction, he said that 
Israel had strength enough to "reach the gates of Odessa." Sharon would 
have played to the administration's obsession with the "Soviet threat" in 
Central America.^' 

Even though it would soon be pressing Israel to do exactly what 
Sharon put forward, the Reagan Administration did not accept Sharon's 
proposition, most likely because Sharon was roundly disliked in Wash- 
ington^* and other Israeli officials might have nixed any dealings with him. 

Four years later, when U.S.-Israeli dealings over the contras had 
become firmly established, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin offered 
NSC staffer Oliver North 20-50 Spanish-speaking advisers for the contras 
in exchange for approval of the sale of Kfirs to Honduras." In 1982, 
however it would have been difficult for the administration to finance the 
sale of Kfirs to Honduras without exposing to the public, especially to the 
Congress, a great deal more of its thinking about Nicaragua (i.e., that its 
real plans had nothing to do with interdicting arms to the Salvadoran rebels. 
Its excuse at that time, but were really aimed at overthrowing the 
government in Managua). The then-burgeoning CIA might have been 
plannmg to make a big splash with Nicaragua; it would be several months 
before the full glare of congressional scrutiny withered the agency's 
grasping tentacles and sent the administration begging to Israel. 

In 1 983 reports of Israeli weapons shipments to the contras surfaced. 
ARDE, the Costa Rica-based Revolutionary Democratic Alliance contra 
group led by Eden Pastora had received 500 AK rifles from Israel.^* In 
October 1983, FDN— the Nicaraugan Democratic Front— Director Edgar 
Chamorro said that the Honduran-based main mercenary force had 
received 2,000 AK-47s from Israel." At the time, that was one-quarter of 
the FDN's armed membership. 

It is interesting that while the FDN mercenaries were most closely 
identified with the Somoza regime which Israel had aided so loyally, it was 
with ARDE in Costa Rica that Israel seemed to be the most involved in 
1983 and 1984. Pastora had fought with distinction (and flamboyance) in 
the revolution and had been in the Sandinista government. It is widely 
understood that Pastora quit the Directorate, the government that held 
power in Nicaragua prior to the November 1984 elections, when he 
realized that he would not be top dog. That he then chose to actively 
oppose Managua might also be attributed to his suspected links to the CIA, 
dating back to before the fall of Somoza.^s 

Israel and Central America 149 

Pastora always distinguished himself from the FDN leaders, who 
were close associates of Somoza. It is not clear that his men were so 
ideologically discriminating. Many deserted him for the paymasters of the 
;FDN when the CIA, after sustained attempts including a May 1984 
bombing that claimed the lives of eight bystanders, finally succeeded in 
shutting ARDE do wn.^' But in 1 983-84 Pastora made it a point of pride to 
claim that he received no money from the CIA. The agency went along 
with this contention, as Pastora was an attractive exhibit for members of 
Congress who got a little queasy about the Somocistas in Honduras. It 
was also hoped that he could win over some elements of the Socialist 

However, it was generally assumed that Pastora was receiving 
laundered CIA support.^" Certainly the CIA was active in Costa Rica, 
bribing officials to tolerate the presence of the contras" and running its own 
mercenaries, a motley bunch of Europeans (some with service for the South 
African minority regime) and right-wing Vietnam veterans.'^ 

Israel was apparently one of a number of channels through which arms 
and funds came to Pastora, and the date when the pipeline was turned on 
can be set rather precisely to July or August 1983. In June of that year, 
ARDE had been on the verge of folding, its coffers down to $3,000. In 
September Pastora was able to increase his guerrilla force from 300 to 
between 2,000 and 3,000 and was planning to arm an additional 2,000 to 
3,000. He boasted of "increased donations from individuals in Venezuela, 
Colombia, Mexico, Peru and some European countries," as well as "private 
American organizations and some Jewish groups." But later, pointing to 
the armaments he had received, Pastora said, "only the CIA or the Israelis 
could give us these."'* Pastora also told one reporter that the Israeli 
ambassador had offered to sell him weapons.'^ 

The mention of assistance from Jewish groups was a repetitive theme 
with ARDE. It is not clear whether ARDE leaders used "Jews" as a 
euphemism for Israel, or if one or more U.S. Jewish organizations had 
actually been funding the contras. 

Alfonso Robelo, then political leader of ARDE, said the mercenary 
grouping received "financial aid from German and Venezuelan citizens, 
Mexican organizations, U.S. Jewish organizations, as well as from 
Germans and Cubans in exile." He said he did not care where these donors 
got the funds they gave ARDE.'* Another time Robelo reeled off a list of 
ARDE backers that included "the democrats of Venezuela and Mexico, the 
Nicaraguan exile community [colonias nicaraguenses] and the Jewish com- 
munities of the United States."'' Yet another time Robelo said "we are 


receiving help from many democrats and private companies in France, 
Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, and even Jews. "^s 

Israeli arms also reached ARDE through Panama. In the autumn of 
1 985, Alvin Weeden, a Panamanian attorney and former secretary general 
of the Popular Action Party (PAPO), said that Gen. Manuel Antonio 
Noriega, commander-in-chief of the Panama Defense Forces, had been 
obtaining the "materiel needed by the Southern Front to continue its 
struggle" from Israel. Noriega then distributed the supplies to ARDE, and, 
according to Weeden, reaped profits for himself. 

Weeden said his information came from Dr. Hugo Spadafora. 
Spadafora, a Panamanian physician, had fought with other guerrilla 
movements before volunteering with ARDE. Weeden, who said the 
physician had left ARDE because of Pastora's close connection with 
Noriega, had been engaged by Spadafora to represent him in making 
declarations about Noriega's malfeasance and links with narcotraffickers. 
Spadafora was gruesomely murdered soon after.^' 

Israel had very close links with Noriega, who had met with "high- 
ranking" Mossad agents in Canada and Europe as well as Panama. At one 
point, U.S. intelligence agencies suspected that a campaign "contribution" 
of many millions of dollars from Israel to Panamanian President Eric 
Arturo Delvalle had been an indirect payoff to Noriega "who is well placed 
to intercept and relay coded U.S. data on Latin America— a lucrative arms 
market for Israel."^" 

In early 1 984, as Congress took steps to curtail and then cut off funds 
to the contras, Israeli support for the mercenaries "became crucial to the 
war's continuation.'"" Several contra leaders said that they had made 
arrangements to get Israeli assistance.''^ 

When their U.S. aid was all spent, Israeli aid to the mercenaries began 
to escalate. In early 1985, both Reagan Administration officials and 
members of Congress said that Israel had stepped up shipments of rifles, 
grenades and ammunition and sent more advisers. « 

At a March 3 1 press conference in Managua, government spokes- 
person Rosa Passos announced that Nicaragua had intercepted a ship 
delivering a large cargo of weapons to the contras in Honduras. The ship 
had come from Asia, Passos said, and the shipment had been arranged by 
the Israeli government.** 

Nicaraguan soldiers were also finding Israeli-made weapons and 
uniforms on dead contras.« A reporter for National Public Radio saw 
Israeli-made artillery pieces at the FDN's Las Vegas camp in southern 
Honduras.** In a display set up by the government in Managua, there were 
many captured Israeli weapons.*^ 

Israel and Central America 


Jack Terrell, a former mercenary now at the International Center for 
Development Policy in Washington, said he was in Honduras when an 
Israeli shipment arrived for the contras. Terrell also recounts an experience 
that suggests that regular and frequent shipments came from Israel. In 
November 1984, he asked FDN chief Adolfo Calero for Uzis and 9 mm 
ammunition for a commando raid on Managua. Calero told him, "I'll get 
this as soon as I can. We're expecting two ships in from Israel in February. 
When they get in, you will get your stuff." Terrell said that the Uzis 
arrived and were given out to the contras. 

The sales were made by Israeli arms dealers, he said, and the 
documents covering the shipment were signed by Honduran officials (who 
made 30 percent on the deal). 

Terrell also said that Adolfo Calero's brother Mario had been to Israel 
to buy 10,000 AK-47s, said to have been captured in Lebanon.*^ 

Contra leaders said that they normally obtained arms from Israel 
through the Israeli embassy in Guatemala. They explained that it was rare 
for the contras to deal directly with Israel and even more unusual for one of 
them to go to Israel. "We do not have a formal relationship with the 
Israelis," explained a contra leader. "We work with them quietly, usually 
outside Israel. There is no need for us to go direcdy to Israel."*' 

This circumspection was dictated by Israel's fear that congressional 
opponents of contra aid would be angered — a fear which later proved 
unwarranted — if its contra connections were exposed in the U.S. media. 

Yet in addition to the visit by Mario Calero, at least one other high- 
ranking contra, Julio Montealegre, a Miami-based aide to Adolfo Calero, 
went to Israel seeking arms — specifically Somoza's last consignment, 
which Israel recalled just before the dictator fell. Montealegre spent two 
weeks in Israel in January/February 1986.'° It is ironic that the contras, 
whose Washington backers tried so hard to portray as "democrats," 
considered themselves entitled to weapons paid for by Somoza. But they 
did: "We have been trying to get those arms for a long time," said a contra 
leader.^' A member of the Israeli Knesset said that the government had 
agreed to Montealegre's request. 

The timing of Montealgre's trip, immediately after the U.S. and Israel 
started shipping arms to Iran under a secret Presidential "Finding" and an 
arrangement between the White House and the Israeli government that 
some of the (inflated) profits from those sales were to go to the contras, 
suggests that the contra aide was after more than Somoza's last arms order. 
As the diverted funds are believed to have been recycled in Israel to 
purchase arms for the contras,^' it is likely that Montealegre was picking 
out weapons from Israel's inventory for the contras. 



During the 1985-86 period, Israel sent at least six shiploads of East 
bloc assault rifles, grenade launchers and ammunition to Honduras for the 
contras. Also, some of the 400 tons of weapons supplied to the contras by 
the "private" network coordinated by Lt. Col. Oliver North of the 
National Security Council staff came from Israel. These arms were 
delivered to Ilopango Air Base in El Salvador by Southern Air Transport," 
a former CIA proprietary and, during the second Reagan term, one of the 
companies included by North in what he called Project Democracy. One 
planeload of arms— it included AK-47 rifles and ammunition— came 
directly from Israel to Honduras in November 1986.^* 

Another shipment, a "significant quantity" of East bloc arms, was 
offered by Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin on September 12,1 986. 
They were picked up during the following week and taken on a foreign- 
flag vessel to Central America. But, after the Iran-contra scandal broke, this 
ship— like Somoza's last ship— was recalled to Israel." This was the arms 
consignment for which President Reagan was asked to "thank" Prime 
Minister Peres during a September 15, 1986 meeting.^s 

Many, if not most of these sales were made through the private dealers 
Israel uses to establish "plausible deniability" of its politically risky 
dealings. With the breaking of the Iran-contra scandal, some of the activity 
of those dealers were exposed, revealing an interconnected web of 
operators. It is striking that all of the Israeli dealers involved in the Iran arms 
sales also made at least one sale of weapons to the contras, perhaps to oblige 
the Reagan Administration, which was making it possible for them to earn 
fat commissions on the Iran-Iraq war. 

Well before the Iran-contra operation began, in late 1984 and early 
1985, Al Schwimmer, one of Israel's premier arms dealers, an initiator of 
the Iran arms sales involving Washington, and a close friend and special 
assistant to Prime Minister Shimon Peres, had "made an undetermined 
number of sales of Israeli-owned weapons" to the contras.^' 

Ya'acov Nimrodi, who figured prominently in the arms-to-Iran 
deahngs, also handled arms shipments financed with a donation of several 
million dollars, given by the Israeli government to the contras at the request 
of CIA Director Casey.'" A former Nimrodi employee said the sales were 
made through a U.S. company owned by Nimrodi, who had done the deal 
as a "favor" to the contras, taking only a "small fee" for himself." 

Pesakh Ben-Or, an Israeli arms dealer based in Guatemala and Miami, 
sold three shipments to the contras through the Honduran military. He 
gave the Israeli defense ministry documents of sale bearing the signature of 
Col. Julio Perez, chief of logistics in the Honduran Army's Ordnance 

Israel and Central America 153 

The consignments included such items as RPG-7 grenade launchers, 
which the Honduran army does not even use; the contras, however, do use 

Another company with Israeli links is Sherwood International Export 
.; Corp. Former U.S. diplomat Wayne Smith said the Reagan Administration 
had "used Sherwood before for weapons sales to the FDN" and that the 
I CIA had frequently used it so that Israel wasn't directly supplying the 
(contras. Smith said he had been told by an administration official that a 
shipment of weapons Sherwood sold the contras had come from Israel's 
East bloc stocks.** 

As hkely as not, the SA- 7 surface-to-air missile which the contras used 
I to bring down a Nicaraguan helicopter in December 1 985 came from Israel. 

The contras bought the missiles "by the dozens" starting in mid- 1985.*^ 
i Some were purchased by Gen. John Singlaub, others came from Israel.** 
i Opinions vary as to whether Ben-Or or Sherwood*'' was the source.*^ 
Possibly both were.*' 

Moreover, Ben-Or's operation and Sherwood are connected by a 
tangle of other Israeli arms dealers. At the time it was selling arms to the 
contras, Sherwood employed Pinhas Dagan and Amos Gil'ad, an Israeli 
transport officer, in senior positions.^" 

Dagan, who had once represented lAI in territory stretching between 
Mexico and Colombia, had lived in Ben-Or's Miami house.^' Gil'ad was an 
acquaintance of Gerard Latchinian, arrested by the FBI in an assassination 
plot against then Honduran President Roberto Suazo Cordoba. Gil'ad 
introduced Latchinian to Pesakh Ben-Or.'^ 

Latchinian, whose role in the assassination plot was to obtain the 
necessary weapons, had at one time employed Emil Sa'ada," identified by 
Honduran military sources as one of two former Israeli military men who 
had "helped arrange" arms shipments to the contras in deals dating back to 

The other Israeli was Yehuda Leitner, who worked for one of Sa'ada's 
Honduran operations. Leitner was also employed by ISDS, an Israeli 
"security expertise" exporter.'* 

Both Sa'ada and Leitner were former Israeli military officers." Both 
denied having sold arms, charging they were being scapegoated in the 
shuffle resulting from the Iran-contra scandal and from rivalry among 
regional arms deals, "including Marcus Katz."'* 

David Marcus Katz "helped broker [a] deal with the contras in 
1985."" To bring the connection around full circle, Pesakh Ben-Or began 
his career as Katz's chauffer.'* 


Israel or its associated arms dealers might also have participated in the 
diversion of U.S. arms to the contras. A former U.S. Army combat pilot 
and supply officer now working as an arms expert for a conservative 
Washington think tank said that he had quizzed "Americans who had 
visited rebel training and supply camps in Honduras, and their conclusion 
was that the U.S. Defense Department was the ultimate source, through 
theft, cut-out deals with Israel and other governments, of most of the rebel 
arms." He said that items such as batteries and aircraft parts had been 
officially accounted as discarded scrap and "had actually been diverted in 
good working order to the rebels."" 

Former CIA analyst David MacMichael said thac there had been a 
great deal of stolen ordnance; and much that was reported used in training at 
an Alabama base could have gone to the contras.^" 

The Israelis vehemently denied my arms shipments to the contras, or 
any contact with them at all. They kept on denying any contra connection 
even after the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating the Iran-contra 
affair issued its January 1987 report which implicated the Israeli defense 
minister in the sales. 

The nearest Israel came to acknowledging its role with the contras was 
in a leaked government story that attempted to explain how Yitzhak Rabin 
had become personally involved in one particular shipment: An Israeli 
"senior security source" explained that after "Oliver North drove us crazy 
with his requests to supply arms to the contras," Rabin had agreed to send 
"several hundred Soviet-made rifles" to the administration to do what it 
wanted with them. These same sources claimed that all Israeli shipments 
destined for the contras were actually sent to "official U.S. Administration 
elements. "8' Rabin himself was more terse in his denial: 

I turned down the request of a U.S. official— a member or 
employee of the National Security Council at the White 
House—who made such a proposal to Israel. I told him we had 
enough problems of our own and we had no plans whatsoever to 
give any direct assistance, either in the form of instructors, 
advice, or weapons. 

Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, Israeli weapons 
did not reach the contras. 

Israel and Central America 155 


In early 1983, 50 Israeli specialists in guerrilla and psychological 
warfare were said to have gone to El Salvador and Honduras. That 
summer intelligence sources said that Israel was providing "special" 
guerrilla training to the contras.** 

From all appearances the only thing "special" the contras learned to do 
was brutalize the civilian population of Nicaragua and kidnap young men 
for incorporation into the mercenary ranks. Yet the Israelis drew top pay 
for their work: $6,500— $10,000 a month, compared with the $5,000- 
$7,000 for Argentine advisers. The CIA is thought to have paid their 
salaries. 85 Perhaps the pay was based on the fearsome international 
reputation of the Israeli military— Israeli "security companies" regularly 
charge double the going rate for bodyguards for European businessmen** 
—rather than their performance. 

An Israeli mercenary who had served in Central America said that 
Israelis were training and supervising the contras. He said they were 
recruited by "foreigners with excellent Israeli connections." Another 
Israeli mercenary said that the Defense Ministry was aware of the Israelis 
working with the contras and that they use IDF manuals and catalogs.*' 
These are clear signs of an official connection. 

Although the Israeli government gets extensive mileage out of 
claiming that its nationals, often retired military officers, working as 
advisers or arms merchants, are merely private citizens, there is over- 
whelming evidence that those who follow both professions are under the 
control of Tel Aviv. 

Every "security technique" must be approved by the government for 
export. In 1986, there were approximately 20 "security companies" 
licensed by the defense ministry to export their services; many of these 
were newcomers to a rapidly expanding field. The defense ministry "often 
passes less-desirable clients to private consulting firms."** 

One such company is International Security and Defense Systems 
(ISDS, see above). Its offices in a kibbutz near Tel Aviv are full of 
mementos from the Honduran, Salvadoran, Chilean and Ecuadoran 
militaries. A company employee trained the Honduran president's body- 
guard in 1982.*" 

Even when these "experts" are not on government business their 
activities are regulated by the Israeli government. T here is an obligatory 
six-month course^iven_bythe Israeli government " wliich trains people in' 


special security methods. " At least one ofthe proliferating Israeli "security 
companies" requires its employees to take the course.'" 

The private Israeli "security" teams work all over the world, from the 
gaming tables of Sun City in South Africa to the plantations of wealthy 
Latin Americans. The going rate for an Israeli is $5,000 per month." One 
of the Israeli companies even gives courses for children, executives and 
individuals.'^ Another provides a " Tour an d Secure" package, a two- week 
^'^iY-iaJ srael evenly divided between tourmg]an3" learning karate an"d 
we apons handling for a co st of $2 ,800 including round trip airfare from 
New York.'3 ' - 

All of this is done in close proximity to, if not in conjunction with, 
another Israeli growth industry— the marketing of sophisticated "security" 
devices. Items such as 360-degree video cameras in car antennas, laser 
beams that capture conversations in rooms hundreds of feet away, and 
virtually undetectable infrared audio monitoring devices'* are available in 
1 retail outlets.'^ 

Major weapons systems, however, are sold to governments. The 
Israeli individuals who make the sales — mostly retired military officers 
unable to find suitable employment in the civilian economy— do so on 
behalf of the government, for a commission of at least ten percent.'^ Their 
function is to provide protective layers of "deniability" between the Israeli 
government and the bad publicity that often follows disclosures of arms 
sales to outlaw regimes and mercenary bands. 

Until recently, Israeli arms dealers (700-800 by_offici,aiestimates) 
carried letters of introduction from~tHe defense ministry. Following a~ 
number of scandals, most notably the arrest of retired General Avraham 
Bar- Am in an attempted $2.5 billion sale sale to Iran," the procedure was 
changed. Now the dealers are issued two official certificates for each sale. 
The first document will list the purchaser, the intermediaries in the sale, and 
the precise weapons involved. The second document will be a permit 
containing the terms of sale and specifying the payment arrangements.'^ 

When he was Israel's military attache in Washington, Gen. Uri 
Simhoni met with contra leader Adolfo Calero to discuss working with the 
contras. "I heard that he might be of service to us once he retired," Calero 

Several months after U.S. military aid to the contras resumed in late 
1986, the IsraeHs were still m demand as advisers. Speaking anonymously 
on the state-run television, an Israeli said "I conducted negotiations with 
the contras. They need light weapons, ammunition.. .They want advisers 
from Israel." He said there were more Israelis working with the contras, 

Israel and Central America 


and that relations between the two groups were "outstanding"; in his 
words, "you feel after a day like you've known them for years."'™ 

A report in early 1987 said that Israeli advisers were training the 
contras at U.S. Army bases in Honduras. There were conflicting reports as 
to whether the Israelis were being paid by the Honduran government or, as 
Israeli military sources claimed, "American sources or intelligence 

Laundered Funds 

As soon as President Reagan started to feel pinched by congressional 
restrictions on CIA spending for the contras, he began asking Israel to 
donate or launder funds for the mercenaries he was fond of calling "the 
moral equals of our founding fathers." In early 1984, Israel gave a "well- 
concealed" several million dollars which was believed to have gone 
through a South American intermediary. The amount was probably 
reimbursed in Israel's U.S. aid.'"^ 

By September of that year, of $ 1 5 million collected for the contras, the 
Israeli government gave just under $5 million, Part of Israel's contribu- 
tion was in East bloc and Chinese-made weapons and part was in cash to 
"help contras meet their $800,000 monthly payroll. "i"* 

In 1 985 and 1 986, the discreet contribution would be replaced by the 
wholesale kickback, as administration officials and their cronies who had 
recently left government posts for private life left no stone unturned in the 
search for funds to continue the contra war. 

In July 1985, the administration legalized its solicitation by inter- 
vening in a House-Senate conference committee and insisting on the 
redrafting of an amendment to the $12.6 billion foreign aid bill- 
containing $27 million "non-lethal" aid for the contras— written by 
Senator Claiborne Pell (D-Rl). In its original form, the Pell Amendment 
forbade the administration from making a formal or informal arrangement 
with U.S. aid recipients to aid the contras. On threat of presidential veto of 
the the entire bill. Sen. Pell, Foreign Relations Chairman Richard Lugar 
(R-IN) and White House and congressional staff sat down together and 
rewrote the amendment. 

The State Department explained that the Pell Amendment might have 
prevented the president from soliciting "nonlethal" aid from Israel, 
Taiwan, South Korea, and other such allies, some of which had already 
spoken to the White House about donations. 


The new language imposed by the administration read: 

The U.S. shall not enter into any arrangement conditioning 
expressly or impliedly the provision of assistance under this 
act.. .upon provision of assistance by a recipient to persons or 
groups engaging in an insurgency. ..against the government of 

Both houses of Congress passed this language without debate, just before 
they adjourned for the summer."'^ 

CIA Director Casey and UN Ambassador Vernon Walters, himself a 
long time covert operator,'"* visited a number of U.S. clients and urged 
contributions. Both Israel and Egypt donated money in response to these 
pleas "when reminded of the substantial U.S. aid they receive. " Some of 
the money Israel gave is said to have been passed through Oliver North. '"^ 

Another round of shakedowns was carried out by retired Air Force 
General Richard Secord, a leading participant in the contra supply network 
run by the White House National Security Council (NSC) staff and also in 
the arms-to-Iran scam run jointly by the NSC and Israel. Saudi Arabia was 
the biggest giver to this campaign, and the leverage Secord had over the 
Saudis had quite a bit to do with Israel. 

He reminded them that the administration had stuck its neck out and 
"defied the powerful pro-Israeli lobby" in a bruising fight to win 
Congressional approval of the the sale of AW AGs surveillance planes to the 
Kingdom. As a deputy assistant secretary of defense, Secord had led the 
campaign for the sale. (NSC staffer Oliver North had assisted him.) He told 
the Saudis that he had later been forced to resign because he had angered 
powerful people. (Another reason Secord resigned was an investigation 
into his business dealings with Edwin Wilson, the former CIA operator 
now in prison for his dealings with Libya.) 

Secord spent the Saudi money on East bloc arms from Egypt, from 
Israel and from international arms dealers."" 

Recycling the money given by Israel in the Israeli economy would 
become a pattern. For all that Israel, with its very well known economic 
problems, gave the contras, it made money every step of the way. Much of 
what Israel put into the pot was returned to the Israeli government in the 
form of arms sales. The contras were a closed market to which Israel had 
privileged access. Former contra leader Edgar Chamorro has pointed out 
that arms dealers do not seek out the contras, nor do the mercenaries often 
make purchases on the open market. He explained that "a very few people, 
close to the White House, tell the FDN how to get weapons. Calero is told 
by the people in charge where to go to buy weapons. They even make the 

Israel and Central America 


When the Iran-contragate investigators went looking for the money 
that Oliver North said had been skimmed from the profits made on U.S.- 
Israeli arms sales to Iran and diverted to the contras, there was no hidden 
heap of cash to be found. Many observers are certain that the cash went to 
Israel, which then shipped weapons to the contras. 

The Covert Alliance 

Beneath the apparent symmetry of these deals were three years of 
anguished bargaining between Israel and the Reagan Administration. What 
occurred across tables and desks in the United States and Israel was at least 
as significant and potentially as deadly as the weapons that went to the 
contras. Indeed, the money, the arms, and the advisers were all offered by 
Israel as substitutes for what the Reagan Administration was really asking 
for. All the dickering began and ended with a stalemate: the administration 
was "delighted" with Israeli arms sales in Central America,"' but 
frustrated beyond belief that Israel declined to take a splashy public role 
with the contras, both in Central America and in the U.S. body politic. 
Wishing not to antagonize its liberal supporters, Israel insisted on a covert 
role in both arenas. At the same time, it twisted and turned to see if it could 
not reconcile the two opposing claims on its loyalty. Ultimately, tensions 
with the White House over the level of Israel's support for the contras 
contributed to the Iran-contra scandal. 

However, the investigative broom that sweeps out the debris of the 
Iran-contra mess is unlikely to disturb the murky corner in which Israel's 
role was generated. Behind protective shadows is a structure developed 
during the Reagan years that makes Israel an ex officio— pcdoice an 
uncontrollable— arm of U.S. foreign policy. This function was but one 
element of the bilateral relations, which during the Reagan years were 
cemented to such an extent, that, as Secretary of State George Shultz put it, 
no subsequent, possibly less friendly, administration would be able to 
dismantle them."^ 

At the heart of that structure is a "strategic alliance," committed 
several times to paper, but actually developed in the hothouse atmosphere 
of the privateering Reagan Administration. 

In March 1979, after the Camp David Accords between Israel and 
Egypt, the U.S. and Israel had signed a Memorandum of Agreement 
entailing U.S. commitments to help Israel boost its weapons exports. On 
November 3 0, 1 98 1 the Reagan Administration signed a Memorandum of 


Understanding (MOU) on Strategic Cooperation with Israel, incor- 
porating some elements of the 1979 pact and adding some mild language 
about mutual defense. 

The term strategic— a word very popular in the Reagan years with 
men who wished to clothe their base idiocies with a smug semblance of 
considered policy— referred to cooperation the two countries planned to 
undertake in the developing world. This was the heart of the agreement. Of 
prime interest to Israel was Africa, where it hoped to use U.S.-funded 
programs to tempt the continent's governments back into its diplomatic 

Signed by Secretary of Defense Alexander Haig and Defense Minister 
Ariel Sharon, the MOU was suspended almost immediately, after Israel 
annexed the Syrian Golan Heights. Tel Aviv insisted that the MOU lived 
on in spirit, and that parts of it were covered by the 1 9 79 memorandum. ' 

Its actual revival would come when the administration became 
interested in what Israel could do for it in Central America, an interest 
which also helped Washington overcome its "anger" at Israel's behavior 
during the war in Lebanon. In fact, both Israeli and administration sources 
said that Israel's potential as a helpmeet was the only bright spot in relations 
between the two countries during the 1982-1983 period."^ 

In 1 983, the administration made a direct request to Israel to arm the 
contras.116 It also wanted Israel to lend its political support to the contras, 
which had not, to say the least, attracted an instant following in the U.s! 
When Israel was not forthcoming, the administration first attempted to 
force the issue by making it public. The New York Times was the vehicle of 

On Its front page one July morning was news that the administration 
had encouraged Israel to increase its presence in Central America "as a way 
of supplementing American military aid to friendly governments and 
supporting insurgent operations against the Nicaraguan Government," 
especially if Congress moved to forbid the CIA from continuing its 
support. Israel had begun sending artillery pieces, mortar rounds, mines, 
hand grenades and ammunition captured in Lebanon to Honduras "for 
eventual use by the contras," and was behaving more like a U.S. surrogate 
than the private arms dealer it used to be. Israel heatedly denied the part 
about being a surrogate."' 

The administration then attempted to coax Israel into a more favorable 
mood. Israel was, at the same time, trying to nail down some concessions 
from the U.S. Alexander Haig, who had been very partial to Israel, had 
resigned, and over the course of 1 983 there had been considerable sparring 
within the administration over the nature of U.S.-Israeli relations. Haig's 

Israel and Central America 


successor, George Shultz, had begun his tenure determined to maintain the 
friendship of Arab nations with an "even-handed" policy in the Middle 
East. However, after intensive lobbying by pro-Israel forces in the State 
Department and by the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Shultz was 
persuaded to a policy skewed toward Israel: complete favoritism expressed 
in an open alliance. The Israelis had argued against the traditional "even- 
handedness" of U.S. policy (in reality the "balance" had been little more 
than rhetoric), pushing instead the notion that an overt U.S. alignment with 
Israel would "show the Arabs" that their cause was hopeless and that close 
relations with Washington must be achieved via deference to Israel."^ 

Shultz, joined by former Haig aide Robert McFarlane, at the time 
deputy national security adviser, presented a position paper to the 
President recommending "strategic cooperation" with Israel. Their main 
selling point was that such a pact would help contain the Soviet Union. In 
October 1983, President Reagan signed National Security Decision 
Directive 1 1 1 establishing strategic cooperation with Israel."' 

In Washington on November 29 of that year, Israel's Prime Minister 
Yitzhak Shamir and President Reagan announced that their two govern- 
ments had agreed on closer cooperation, which Shamir said included "a 
dialogue on coordinating activity in the third world.'''^" (It was perhaps 
coincidental that the agreement was sealed on the day set aside by the UN 
for the Palestinian people, but given the Israeli attention to detail, perhaps 
not.) A formal agreement was signed the following March,'^' by which 
Israel agreed to become an unreachable arm of covert U.S. policy. No 
public debate. No outcry from the Congress. Liberal members were then 
battening on wine and cheese provided by anti-intervention activists and 
giving assurances of their commitment to opposing the Reagan foreign 

During his Washington session Shamir was also promised increased 
U.S. aid, short term economic credits, concessions on the sales of Israeli 
weapons systems to the U.S., and a Free Trade Agreement.'" There was, 
as Secretary of State Shultz admitted, "no visible quid pro quo in the pact 
with Israel. "123 There was only the Boland Amendment, forbidding U.S. 
agencies from aiding the contras, passed several weeks earlier, and the 
beginnings of a concerted search by the White House and CIA Director 
Casey to find alternate sources of support for the obsessive campaign 
against Nicaragua. '^^ 

That semi-formal discussions about Central America had been going 
on between the U.S. and Israel for some time before the administration 
moved to offer Israel the strategic agreement, strongly suggests that Israel 
was being offered incrementally greater rewards to persuade it to play a 


leading part in the war against Nicaragua. These discussions began in the 
framework of a bilateral political-military committee put together by 
Robert McFarlane. In 1982, as an aide to Secretary of State Haig, 
McFarlane had come to know (and deeply admire) David Kimche, 
director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry, the nation's top civil service 
post. Kimche had been the number two man in Israel's secret service, 
Mossad, and during the prime ministership of Yitzhak Shamir (late 1 982 to 
late 1984) he served as de facto foreign minister. When McFarlane 
transferred to the White House, he established links between Kimche and 
senior State Department officials which resulted in a committee, whose 
charge was to meet every spring and fall (alternately in Washington and 
Jerusalem) and "look at the big picture," meaning everything outside the 
Middle East.'" The committee would eventually be subsumed under the 
November 1983 strategic agreement. 

In June 1983 the group had discussed Central America—specifically 
"the intention of the U.S. Administration to get Israel to supply the armies 
of the pro-American regimes there" with the funds "the U.S. cannot 
directly transfer to its allies in the region.. .paid to Israel directly from the 
United States."'^* At other meetings they discussed ways of countering 
Nicaragua's growing international political support; once they conspired 
on ways to block Nicaragua from becoming the chair of the Nonaligned 

However, the strategic agreement, signed eleven days after contra aid 
ran out, failed to move Israel into the proper frame of mind for declaring 
war on Nicaragua. A former U.S. official "who routinely reviewed 
intelligence reports" said that the administration made "at least two 
attempts in 1984 to use Israel to circumvent a Congressional ban on 
military aid to the contras."'28 The requests included "bridging financing" 
(funds to tide the mercenaries over until congressional or other means of 
support could be found), weapons and training. Israel later refused a 
request to launder and pass along U.S. funds to the contras.'^' 

After the last covert contra money was spent on March 8, 1984,1'" 
with Congress still howling about the CIA's mining of Nicaragua's ports, 
the administration went several steps beyond polite requests. 

With David Kimche due in Washington in April for the regularly 
scheduled meeting of the political-military committee, the administration 
tried to drag Israel over the threshhold separating overt and covert with an 
unparalleled series of news leaks. 

A story popped up in Israel that the committee would be discussing a 
U.S. proposal for making Israel a conduit for U.S. aid to anti-communist 
forces in Central America and that the U.S. would establish a fund 

Israel and Central America 


"independent of the government budget to finance projects suggested by 
Israeli experts""' in Central America and Africa."^ 

In addition to passing money, said another Israeli report, the 
administration would seek "a higher Israeli political profile in support of 
U.S. policy in Central America" in exchange for funding Israeli foreign 
projects. Additionally, "the administration would like to see Israel 
encourage its own supporters in the Congress, the Jewish community and 
elsewhere to become more assertive in backing the contras."'" 

It is almost certain that the leaks were generated in Washington, where 
"some Administration officials in recent weeks ha[d] talked privately about 
the possibility of persuading friendly governments, such as Israel to 

CIA Director Casey let it be known he was thinking about asking 
another country, "such as Saudi Arabia," for money for the contras."^ 
Later the CIA admitted having "unofficially" asked Israel and Saudi 
Arabia to support the contras . ' When the Iran-contra scandal broke, Israel 
and Saudi Arabia would appear as major supporters of the contras. 

Perhaps the most unifying moment in the history of the venal and 
fractious contra movement came when the administration lined up 
mercenary spokesmen to make public statements about the possibility of 
Israeli aid. The Somocist FDN said that as Congress had not voted the |2 1 
million sought by the White House, it was going to ask Israel for aid. On 
April 15, FDN officials said they were meeting with U.S. intelligence 
officials "to discuss their options for finding new funds." FDN chief 
Adolfo Calero said, "We have looked for private money, but there isn't 
enough. We need a government. We think the Israelis would be the best, 
because they have the technical experience." 

Another contra leader suggested that Israel might help the contras "as 
a favor to the Reagan administration," and out of consideration for the $2.6 
billion in U.S. aid it received from the U.S. that year."' 

That same week, ARDE leader Eden Pastora lamented that non-U. S. 
aid came to ARDE on condition of anonymity."^ 

The FDN's Washington representative also implored Israel to come to 
the aid of the contras. Arguing that Israel and the contras had overlapping 
interests because the PLO was aiding Nicaragua, Bosco Matamoros also 
warned that there was an "increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli feeling 
in other countries in Central America, where rebels are being helped by the 
Sandinistas and the PLO.""' 

The most spectacular blast in the administration's campaign came from 
Honduras, courtesy of network television. Pentagon reporter Fred Francis 


said that NBC had "learned" that Israel, "at Washington's urging has 
armed a quarter of the rebel army." 

Enrique Bermudez, the FDN's military chief, appeared on camera to 
say: We recen^ed some weapons from the, the, that Israeli government 
took from PLO in Lebanon [sic]." While the camera followed a contra air 
drop into Nicaragua," Francis' voice-over was more to the point- 
Washington has kept the contras on a short leash, won't let them win and 
instead might be about to completely abandon them; at which point 'said 
francs the contras will be "forced to turn again to Israel and others to save 
themselves from becoming refugees of a war lost in a divided Wash- 
ington. ''*" 

There is no doubt that the contra appeal was stage-managed. Israeli 
radio pointed out that the CIA "keeps a tight reign" on the contras and that 
Bermudez would never have spoken "without CIA approval or en- 

It is likely that Israel protested the publicity. The State Department 
issued a statement saying that the U.S. had "no intention of providing 
funds to third countries for the purpose of supporting covert activities in 
Central America. 

By the time David Kimche actually met with Lawrence Eagleburger 
of the State Department on April 26, there was intense media interest in 
what Israel might be about to do with the contras. The Israeli Embassy in 
Washington relayed a message "that the growing controversy over the 
Administration s policy in Central America could damage Israel's standing 
with Congress. i.^^^j also been warned by congressional Demo- 
crats that It should stay far away from the administration's operations in 
Central America.'** 

The real sticking point, however, was Israel's objection to the role the 
administration had envisioned for itself. Israel was perfectly willing to 
participate in a joint attack on Nicaragua, but not, in the words of a former 
diplomat, to get the onus for assisting the contras while the U S is 
standing aside and keeping their hands clean."'" 

After his meeting, Kimche had breakfast with reporters and "acknow- 
ledged that the talks had included discussion of how Israel might increase its 
technical assistance programs in Third World areas, including Central 
America. But, he insisted, he hadn't "come to arrange how Israel is going 
to take over the contras," and said the aid under discussion would be limited 
to "peaceful projects."'** 

Nevertheless, in reporting that breakfast meeting, National Public 
Radio noted speculation about a new fund that the U.S. would create 
ostensibly for non-mihtary aid projects which reportedly would allow the 

Israel and Central America 165 

U.S. to funnel extra money for covert aid which could then be channeled by 
Israel when needed." 

Kimche ran through the gamut of Israeli denials: Israel had no contacts 
with or arms sales to the contras; Israeli policy is to only sell arms to 
"constitutionally organized countries and not to unofficial organizations"; 
Israel might have been mentioned in connection with East bloc arms 
supplied to the contras, but those shipments were "without our consent and 
without our knowledge"; stories of Israeli arms going to the contras might 
have come from the contras "in the hopes that members of Congress 
sympathetic to Israel would then look more favorably on U.S. covert 
activity."'*' All of these were lies, yet even after the breaking of the 
Iran-contra scandal they continue to be blithely issued in the face of 
overwhelming evidence. No matter, they were always accepted at face 
value by Congress and, to a lesser extent, the media. 

Disappointed, the administration lined up behind Israel with a 
statement that no agreement had been reached on funding Israeli aid 
programs and that the U.S. had not asked Israel to become involved in the 
contra program.'*^ As a consolation prize, Israel increased its aid to the 
contras. It would soon begin supplying money for the contras as well as 

There is no question that this tension ultimately led to the proposal to 
transfer funds from the secret (and massive) sales of arms to Iran in which 
Israel involved the administration beginning in August 1985. There may 
have been other factors and other covert operations involved,'*' but the 
Israeli desire to keep the U.S. involved with the Iran program set against the 
administration's constant pleas for Israeli help with the contras is the 
transparently logical genesis of the scam whereby Iran was overcharged 
and the excess funds were applied to the war against Nicaragua. 

This lends credence to evidence given to the Senate Intelligence 
Committee by Attorney General Edwin Meese, that Oliver North had 
described the idea in detail as having originated with the Israelis. 
Uncertainty stemming from the informal circumstances in which Meese 
interviewed NSC staffer Oliver North over which Israeli — David Kimche 
or terror adviser Amiram Nir — was the intellectual author of the scheme 
has been used to discredit the notion of the idea's Israeli origin.'^" 
Conveniently forgotten is a report that the Senate Intelligence Committee 
had been given "secret evidence strongly suggesting that the plan to divert 
money from the Iran arms operation to the Nicaraguan Contras was first 
put forward by Mr. Shimon Peres, then the Israeli Prime Minister."'^' 

The decision was an official Israeli government one, at the highest 
level. The other Israelis had simply been the messengers, bringing the 


suggestion to Washington during crucial January 1986 meetings on 
whether the U.S. would continue with the Iran arms sales. Israel had 
already been using some of the Iran arms sales profits to pay off Iranian 
"moderates" at the suggestion of arms dealer Ya'acov Nimrodi. Israel 
hadn't wanted to tell its American partners about this nifty trick, according 
to Adnan Khashoggi, the Saudi arms dealer involved in the U.S.-lsraeli 
dealings with Iran,'" but apparently did so to save the Iran program and 
forestall another barage of administration publicity about how Israel 
should take up the cudgels against Nicaragua. 

Soon after Israel refused an overt role with the contras. Undersecretary 
of Defense Fred Ikle asked Israel to send advisers to El Salvador "openly, as 
a demonstration of Israeli participation in the load the United States bears in 
Central America."'^' The request underscored one of Israel's two main 
attractions to the administration— the extensive and longstanding ties Israel 
had developed throughout Central America. (The other was Israel's 
domestic political clout, discussed below.) 

In 1983 Israel probably knew its xyay around Costa Rica and 
Honduras better than the CIA did. 


Honduras was one of Israel's first arms customers in Central America. 
Between 1 975 and 1 977, this second poorest of all countries in the Western 
Hemisphere bought 20 French super-Mystere fighter planes from Israel. 
Delivered at a time when it was U.S. policy to discourage the acquisition of 
sophisticated weaponry in Central America, these were the first supersonic 
aircraft in the region; some were equipped with Israeli-made Shafrir heat- 
seeking missiles.'^* 

The Hondurans bought a range of other Israeli arms: Arava STOL 
aircraft,'" a fleet of armored vehicles mounted with recoilless rifles,'" and 
Galil rifles and Uzi submachine guns.'^^ For all its poverty, when Ariel 
Sharon visited Honduras, he was calling on one of Israel's three biggest 
clients. '58 In the wake of Sharon's visit came more arms and training—both 
in Israel and Honduras— for officers, pilots and troops.'^' 

In 1 98 1 , Israeli radar operators were at work at a Honduran airbase. '*" 
Honduran officials never chafed at the Israeli presence— on the contrary, on 
one occasion, exasperated with the on-again off-again contra war, Hon- 
duran military leaders suggested that Israel, Chile, Colombia or Brazil take 
over the contra program for the U.S.'*' Gen. Julio Perez, the Honduran 

Israel and Central America 


army logistics chief, signed false end user certificates for Israeli weapons 
shipments to the contras.'*^ 

Israel also benefited from the fits and starts with which Honduras 
assented to serve as a U.S. "aircraft carrier." In October 1986, in an effort 
to get Honduras to agree to tolerate U.S. training of contras on its soil, the 
U.S. revived the notion of selling the Hondurans advanced aircraft. 
Emblematic of Israel's in-touch status in Honduras, before Washington 
could prepare the papers for the F-5Es it was offering, Israel had the 
Tegucigalpa government's signature on a preliminary agreement to buy 24 
Kfir combat aircraft — a deal that could be worth as much as $200 million. 
To coax their quick agreement, Israel had assured the Hondurans that 
Washington would finance the deal. An incredulous State Department 
official said no such approval had been given. At the time the Jerusalem Post 
said that the National Security Council would have final say on the 
arrangements.'*' Later it would be revealed that the Kfir sale was one side 
of a quid pro quo which would have sent Israeli advisers to the contras. Still 
later, the Kfir sale fell through. 

Costa Rica 

Someday it may be precisely known how great a role Israel played in 
subverting the government of Costa Rica to accede to Washington's use of 
its territory as a secondary base in the war against Nicaragua. More is 
presently known about how the U.S. bribed Costa Rican officials to turn a 
blind eye to the contras; how they ran a CI A and then a "private" operation 
the northern part of the country, which included foreign mercenaries, drug 
running, a clandestine airstrip, and at least two assassination attempts and 
managed to exercise a progressively greater influence on the small, 
relatively democratic nation's media, as the contra campaign wore on.'** 

Israel, however, had the inside track. Luis Alberto Monge, elected to 
the Costa Rican presidency in 1982, is probably one of the strongest 
Zionists in Central America. Formerly Costa Rican ambassador to Israel, 
during his presidential campaign Monge promised to move Costa Rica's 
embassy to Jerusalem, while his foreign-minister-to-be said that the 
National Liberation Party would hold relations with Israel to be a 
"principal preoccupation. "'*5 In May 1982, Costa Rica became the first 
government to return its embassy to the city which all other nations had 
deserted when Israel annexed and declared Jerusalem its undivided capital 
in 1980.'** 


Costa Rica did not have an army, but it did have one of the highest 
foreign debts in the world, and that gave Israel somewhat of a handle Soon 
after his election, Monge met in the U.S. with Israeli Prime Minister 
Menachem Begin, who introduced him to a number of leading bankers 
thus helping him to renegotiate Costa Rica's debt to private banks ' 

Begin pressed Monge hard to abandon the neutrality Costa Rica had 
rnaintamed since 1948, in effect seconding the words of Reagan's UN 
Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, that if Costa Rica warned aid from 
Washington, it would have to create an army.'^^ 

Begin offered military aid-'*'' and in January 1983 the Costa Rican 
Public Security Minister visited Israel, touring defense plants and meeting 

f7n'cf T'' ^"S'" '"'^ Minister Yitzhak 

Shamir Shamir had been in Costa Rica the previous October and offered 
non-military cooperation.'" 

Limited amounts of Israeli military aid began to flow to Costa Rica's 
police forces ' and Israelis came to train the security police, special tactical 
squads'" and intelligence agents."* Israelis themselves carried out various 
intelligence activities" in Costa Rica.'" 

Israel's parastatal Tahal collaborated with with U.S. AID to develop a 
border barrier comprising roads, electronic barriers, and an agribusiness/ 
setdement scheme.'^^ It was an open secret that this installation was part of 
the campaign against Nicaragua. 

A Classic Case of Disinformation: 
"Anti-Semitism and the Sandinistas" 

The War for the Jews 

There is probably only one thing for which the Reagan Administra- 
tion must be forgiven: its failure to understand why Democrats in Congress 
fairly swooned with approval for Israel's acts of military aggression, while 
remaining obdurately disapproving of similar moves made by the White 
House.' At least half of the administration's effort to make Israel a full 
partner in the contra war was aimed at harnessing Israel's political clout to a 
policy which the public consistendy found utterly loathsome. 

As an Israeli columnist put it, "American cooperation with Israel can, 
during any U.S. military activities in the Caribbean, make the difference 
between success and failure in the House of Representatives."^ 

When Israel's political support was restrained by its need to cater to its 
liberal constituency, which includes not only members of Congress, but the 
vast majority of Jews in the United States, the obvious task for the 
administration was to convert that constituency. 

From mid-1983, when it began importuning Israel to get involved, 
until Congress passed contra aid in June 1986, the administration carried 
out a nonstop effort to win Jewish support for the contras. Using methods 
that were sometimes crude, sometimes slick, occasionally anti-Semitic and 
almost completely unsuccessful, the administration hammered away. 



The same July day that leaked news of Israel's activities in Central 
America appeared on the front page of the New York Times marked the 
debut of a campaign to smear Nicaragua's government with charges of 
anti-Semitism. The previous day the President had used a White House 
briefing for Jewish groups to launch a campaign of spurious charges of 
anti-Semitism against the government of Nicaragua. This was part of what 
the White House called "public diplomacy" — appeals to various special 
interest groups to support its policies, especially its contra policy.^ The 
Jewish appeal had been cooked up by the CIA, and it was anti-Semitic to 
the core. 

Former FDN leader Edgar Chamorro told of how he had met with 
three CIA officers in Coral Gables, Florida in the spring of 1983. It was 
decided at that meeting to "target" American Jews with stories about 
Sandinista anti-Semitism. The CIA thought this would be a worthwhile 
propaganda exercise because, recounted Chamorro, "They said that the 
media was controlled by Jews, and if we could show that Jews were being 
persecuted, it would help a lot." 

The CIA knew in advance that Isaac Stavisky and Abraham Gorn, the 
two men they planned to have at the White House briefing, had been 
persecuted for their collaboration with Somoza, not for their religion.'* 

The White House had also learned, four days earlier, from its 
ambassador in Managua that the charges were spurious. A cable from the 
embassy stated: 

[T]he evidence fails to demonstrate that the Sandinistas have 
followed a policy of anti-Semitism... Although most members of 
Nicaragua's tiny Jewish community have left the country and 
some have had their properties confiscated, there is no direct 
correlation between their Jewish religion and the treatment they 

Nevertheless, at the briefing the President, with the usual coy litde 
catch in his voice, accused Nicaragua of anti-Semitism. Rabbi Morton 
Rosenthal, the director of the Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) Latin 
America division, explained that Stavisky and Gorn had been driven out by 
the Sandinistas, who had expropriated their property and seized the 
synagogue in Managua.^ 

Actually, as many subsequent investigations would point out, the 
Jewish community in Nicaragua had been miniscule, numbering around 
50, down from around 150 before the massive 1972 earthquake.^ In 
January 1979 Gorn, the recognized leader of the small Jewish community, ^ 
took delivery of a Honduran shipment addressed to the Somoza National 

Israel and Central America 


> Guard.' The Nicaraguan human rights organization said Gorn received a 
*telegram notifying him of the shipment from a "Jewish citizen of 
Honduras," the implication being that Gorn was not only a social intimate 
of Somoza, but also involved in Israeli arms deals.'" Gorn's associate, 
iStavisky, "apparently has admitted running guns for Somoza."" 
, After the dictator's fall, many who had enjoyed his patronage — ^Jews 
and gentiles — fled. The assets of collaborators were seized under clearly 
defined laws.'^ And contrary to Washington's disinformation, investigators 
! found several Jewish-owned businesses still in operation.'' 

The investigators included a delegation of members of New Jewish 
Agenda,'* a group from Moment Magazine,'^ Rabbi Balfour Brickner of the 
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue in New York,'* and the executive director of 
the Milwaukee Jewish Council." Local groups also investigated the 
charges of anti-Semitism and reported back to their communities that they 
were spurious. 

Latin American investigators were harsher in their refutations. Sergio 
Nudelstejer, who heads the American Jewish Committee's Mexico office, 
said that the Jews left Nicaragua because of "factors other than anti- 
Semitism, including their belonging to the propertied classes." A press 
release issued by the World Jewish Congress said Panama City Rabbi 
Heszel Klepfisc had been to Nicaragua in September 1 983 and found that 
there was an "anti-Israel" tendency, but no anti-Semitism. '^ "The 
statements of Rabbi Rosenthal are not based on fact and do damage to the 
Jewish cause in Central America and, in my opinion, also to Israel," 
Klepfisz, a recognized leader of Latin American Jewry, wrote in a letter in 
April 1984." 

In its analysis of the situation, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs 
(COHA) noted that, "while anti-Zionism sometimes spills over into anti- 
Semitism, there is litde evidence that this has transpired in contemporary 
Nicaragua." COHA saw Nicaragua's position as determined by 

the sort of sympathy with the Palestinian cause that is de riguer 
[sic] among left-leaning Third World regimes. This sentiment, 
coupled with the role Israel has played in arming rightist 
regimes throughout Latin America, has prompted the San- 
dinistas to adopt an avowedly anti-Zionist foreign policy.^" 

A State Department Bureau of Human Rights and Humanitarian 
Affairs team also carried out extensive interviews in Nicaragua and turned 
up no evidence of anti-Semitism. 2' 

Journalists' reports corroborate what the investigators found. After 
having spoken with Jews still living in Nicaragua (this did tend to refute the 


charges of the entire community having been driven into exile) as well as 
the Nicaraguan government, Edward Cody of the Washington Post reported 
that all agreed that the synagogue was not confiscated, but abandoned by 
the Jews and later used by the Nicaraguans for a childrens' association." 

Although in 1982 the pro-government Managua paper Nuevo Diario 
had run a series of articles which the president of the Mexican branch of 
B'nai B'rith perceived as anti-Semitic,^^ several journalists determined that 
the editors had merely confused the terms for Jew and Israeli.^t According 
to the Nicaraguan government's human rights unit, the article causing 
particular distress had been one of a series, reflecting the views of 
theologians who had spoken at the Church of the Nazarene in Managua." 

Clerical anti-Semitism in Nicaragua does not seem to be limited to 
pro-government forces. Bishop Miguel Obando y Bravo, an avid par- 
ticipant in the Reagan Administration's war against Nicaragua, preached an 
October 1984 sermon in Managua containing these lines: 

[T]he leaders of Israel... mistreated [the prophets], beat them, 
killed them. Finally as supreme proof of his love, God sent his 
divine Son, but they.. .also killed him, crucifying him. ..The 
Jews killed the prophets and finally the Son of God.. .Such 
idolatry calls forth the sky's vengeance."^* 

Obando, who has since been appointed Cardinal, did not deign to reply to a 
query by Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel, chair of the ADL Intergroup Relations 
Committee." There is no trail of press clippings pointing to an ADL 
pursuit of this matter. 

As had many other investigators, a North American Jewish woman 
who had lived in Nicaragua for three years noted that there was much 
ignorance, with Nicaraguans believing that Jews killed Christ. "The 
hardest question was from Nicaraguans who wanted to know why Jews 
and Israelis wanted to kill them. They know only one Hebrew word— 
Galil— written on all the weapons in the hands of the contras."^* 

For Its part, the Nicaraguan government was quite sensitive to the 
issue. "We have broken our relations with Israel, but we go out of our way 
to show our love and respect for the Jewish people," stated Foreign 
Minister Miguel D'Escoto.^' 

That these charges were far fetched was underscored by the failure of 
the State Department to include anti-Semitism in the annual critique of 
Nicaragua it published in its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 
1980, 1981 and 1982.3° In 1983 it noted the ADL report.^' Except for 
Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams, who said that Nicaragua was 
anti-Semitic because it recognizes the PLO," the State Department 

Israel and Central America 


confined its energies to putting out tracts "proving" that Nicaragua was 
part of an international "terrorist" network." 

But the charges were not without some effect: the home of the 
Nicaraguan consul in Toronto was stoned by members of the Jewish 
Defense League. And Rep. Michael Barnes (D-MD) who, as chair of the 
subcommittee on Latin America of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, 
was always popping up on television opposing the administration's contra 
policy, released a letter to Managua accusing Nicaragua of "government- 
sponsored anti-Semitism" and declaring himelf outraged at reports he had 
read about the "forced exile by your government of the entire Jewish 

Rather than uniting the U.S. Jewish community behind the Reagan 
policy, the controversy over the ADL's charges caused consternation and 
disputes among major U.S. Jewish organizations." Without disputing the 
question of anti-Semitism, Henry Siegman, Executive Director of the 
American Jewish Congress noted that. 

The only significant question before the American people with 
respect to Nicaragua is whether the appropriate response to the 
dangers posed by the Sandinistas is military assistance to the 
contras...To invoke anti-Semitism as an expedient to gain 
support for controversial policies not only brings these policies 
further into question, but also compromises the battle against 
anti-Semitism. 3^ 

It is possible that the campaign even backfired, causing previously 
uncommitted Jews to take a stand against the contra war and the 
administration's Central America policy. The American Jewish Congress 
passed a resolution opposing contra aid." Jews also began participating in 
the sanctuary movement, protecting refugees from El Salvador and 
Guatemala from the Reagan Administration. By early 1987, 340 Reform 
temples, a dozen Conservative congregations and several Jewish organiza- 
tions, including New Jewish Agenda, had formally affiliated with sanc- 
tuary coalitions.'^ 

One of the founders of the sanctuary movement. Rabbi Joseph 
Weizenbaum of Temple Emmanu-El in Tucson, remarked that he en- 
deavors to convince the Central American refugees with whom he works 
that "there's more to Judaism than the foreign policy of Israel."'' 

In a crowning irony, it was later revealed that the White House Digest 
for July 20, 1 983, the day that Stavisky and Gorn had made their debut as 
"victims" of the Sandinistas, had had the references to Sandinista "anti- 
Semitism" deleted, presumably after the cable from Ambassador Quainton. 


But in his public remarks the President read the deleted text,*" and both he 
and the ADL's Rosenthal would continue to preach what they knew to be 
lies as gospel. 

Rabbi Rosenthal in particular would keep working the subject, with 
hysterical charges that the whole Jewish community had been driven out of 
Nicaragua. He issued a "white paper" reiterating his initial fraudulent 
allegations m March 1986— the same day that President Reagan read a 
televised speech containing the assertions that the Jewish synagogue in 
Managua had been "desecrated and firebombed"— it had a molotov 
cocktail thrown with small effect against its door during the war against 
Somoza,ii~and that the "entire Jewish community" had been "forced to 
flee Nicaragua."^ The ADL's "white paper" was distributed to members 
of Congress.*' 

And as regularly as clockwork, before a vote on contra aid, "victims" 
of Nicaraguan anti-Semitism would come forward to do what they could 
for the cause. 

Relatives of the "exiled" Nicaraguan Jews surfaced in 1 985 as part of a 
campaign launched to lobby for $14 million in contra aid. Billed as 
"conservative Nicaraguan Jews," Elena Corn (the daughter-in-law of 
Abraham) and Sarita and Oscar Kellerman joined contra leaders in a 
national campaign "to convince American Jews that the Sandinista 
government is anti-Semitic and anti-Israel." The campaign specifically 
targeted Jewish members of Congress and members of Congress with large 
Jewish constituencies who had opposed contra aid. The three exiles joined 
contra leaders for Washmgton press conferences and then met individually 
with members of Congress, at synagogues and with "conservative" groups. 
They called fresh attention to the old charges of Nicaraguan anti- 

In 1986 seven exiles appeared at a Washington press conference 
sponsored by the rightist National Jewish Coalition. ''^ 

Over the years, as the administration despaired and labored to recruit 
Israel to its cause, there were other approaches made to Jews, seeking their 
backing for contra aid, but also, given the intervention of Israeli diplomats 
in the 1 986 contra aid battle, "discreetly encourag[ing] American Jewish 
bodies to lobby Congress in favor of the $100 million the President was 
asking for the mercenaries,"'"* almost certainly, to soften up public opinion 
to a possible future overt Israeli role in the contra program. 

Much propaganda was made of the links between Nicaragua, Iran, 
Libya and the PLO. "If the Sandinistas are allowed to consolidate their 
hold on Nicaragua," intoned President Reagan, "we'll have a permanent 
staging ground for terrorism. A home away from home for Qadhafi, Arafat 

Israel and Central America 


I' and the Ayatollah, just three hours by air from the U.S. border. '"'^ (At the 
' time, of course, the man reading those lines was selling arms to "the 
I Ayatollah.") 

Under the masthead of White House Digest, the administration 
distributed, until at least early 1985, a propaganda piece entitled "The 
PLO in Central America." Derogatory cartoons indicated connections 
between the PLO and various "terrorist" organizations. The FSLN was of 
course included, but so were defunct groups such as the U.S. Black Panther 
Party and South American organizations that had long since become 
.electoral formations. Of Israeli origin, the White House giveaway had been 
photocopied from a piece given out by the far-right Jewish Institute for 
National Security Affairs GINSA).''8 One of the founders of JINSA was 
Michael Ledeen, who figured prominently in the Iran-contra scandal. 

The point was made repeatedly that Khadafy, Arafat and Khomeini 
were using Nicaragua as a "terror base." In actuality Nicaragua's ties with 
the PLO were, in addition to the diplomatic sphere, mainly in civil aviation, 
agriculture and technical assistance.*' In early 1985 the Nicaraguan 
embassy in Washington explained that some military training had been 
accepted from Libya, and that, even though Col. Khadafy had offered 
troops, these had been declined, as Nicaragua was bending over backwards 
to avoid anything which might be perceived by the administration n 
provocation.^" The connection with Iran was primarily an oil-for-sugai 
barter arranged in early 1985.^' Otherwise it was limited to verbal 
solidarity between two victims of U.S. aggression." Only later would it 
become known that NSC staffer Lt. Col. Oliver North was overcharging 
Iran for U.S. arms and diverting the profits from those sales to the contras. 

It IS, of course, impossible to assess exactly what impact the anti- 
Semitism charges and the hyperbole about Iran, Libya and the PLO had on 
Jewish citizens. That the administration never altered the content of its 
campaign for Jewish support of its contra program did not necessarily 
connote success— instead it indicated a stubborn belief that Jews would 
respond as Jews, rather than members of the body politic. In other words: 
anti-Semitism. Nevertheless, right-wing Jewish groups worked eagerly 
with the administration to convert U.S. Jews to the contra cause. 

At a White House meeting on March 5, 1986, President Reagan 
lobbied leaders of major Jewish organizations to support the 1100 million 
contra aid bill to be considered by the House of Representatives. He 
reiterated the propaganda about the PLO, Iran and Libya, and suggested an 
additional special "Jewish" reason for supporting the contras: Jews should 
support contra aid because U.S. credibility to allies in Latin America and to 
Israel was at stake. 


Kenneth Bialkin, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of 
Major Jewish Organizations, and at the time leader of the ADL, endorsed 
the Reagan policy, but he stressed that he could not endorse it on behalf of 
the entire Jewish community which the conference purports to represent. 

Other Jewish rightists did not make the kind of prominent headlines 
Bialkin did. JINSA, for instance, confined its efforts to a letter to the editor 
of the Wall Street Journal repeating the spurious anti-Semitism charges and 
to repetitious anti-Nicaragua propaganda in its newsletter. In the Congres- 
sional Record of March 19,1986, Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN) inserted a letter 
signed by prominent Jews such as Max Fisher and Jack Stein, a former 
president of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations, stressing the 
connections between Nicaragua and the PLO and Libya. 

The administration also used individual Jews in its efforts to sway 
Jewish opinion. In the spring of 1986, the President entertained a group 
including Wall Street crook Ivan Boesky — before he was busted for insider 
trading, Boesky was a leading donor to Jewish causes — and ultraright 
Jewish Senator Chic Hecht (R-NV)." 

The contras were at best half-way down the list of priorities of Jewish 
right-wingers, but the President's objectives neatly dovetailed with the 
aims of these groups, which have long sought to shift the Jewish 
community to the right. Premised upon the notion that the primary 
"mission" of Jews in the U.S. is to support Israel, the argument of these 
rightists is that alliances are best made with proponents of unbridled 
military spending and unreasoning hostility toward the nations of the East 
bloc and much of the Nonaligned Movement. The proponents of a Jewish 
shift to the right further argue that Jews, who have historically been 
involved in disproportionate numbers in struggles for social and economic 
justice, have become too affluent and powerful to have common interests 
with the left. 

There have always been Jewish right-wingers, out of synch with the 
Jewish experience of suffering and persecution and out of step with the 
mainstream. Early in the century the high tone German- American Jews 
disdained Eastern European Jews who were fled pogroms and starvation to 
arrive in the U.S. in great numbers. The Russian Jews were labeled "anti- 
American" and the newcomers' Yiddish newspapers were decried as 
"socialistic" by the German-born Jews.^' In more recent times, Jewish 
leaders worked with the McCarthy committees to "convict" leftist Jews. 

This push to the right was given new impetus under the Herut 
governments of Menachem Begin (1977-1983) and Yitzhak Shamir 
(1983-1 984), who encouraged U.S.Jewish organizations to make common 
cause with televangelists such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, 

Israel and Central America 177 

preachers who used religion to mobilize millions into the political process 
in support of 19th century social norms and madcap military spending. 
That these biblethumpers had traditionally been the reservoir of anti- 
Semitism troubled Begin not — nor, for that matter, ADL's Nathan 

The tactics underlying this strange mating were expectations that 
far-right fans of military spending would support continued high levels of 
U.S. military aid to Israel (they do not appear to have done so with the 
regularity of the liberal Democrats) and that the televangelists would pump 
tourists into Israel. This has been the case, to a limited degree, with both 
Robertson and Falwell and their local clones. However, the friendship has 
been accompanied by the spread of a very bizarre, cultlike approach to the 
Jewish state. Called premillenialism, devotees literally believe Biblical 
predictions that the last batde of Armageddon (against the "Northern 
Satanic force," i.e. the Soviet Union) will be fought in Israel — it will, of 
course, be nuclear — and Jesus Christ will "return" and gather up the true 
believers into a "rapture," while the rest of the world agonizes in war and 
turmoil.^' There are shades of anti-Semitism to this school of superstition: 
believers say that all of the Jews must be gathered back in Israel before the 
commencement of the end of time, which they so eagerly await.*" 

Although the tours and paraphernalia of this cult are not selling quite 
as well as they used to,*' those who subscribe to it become passionate 
devotees of Israel, visiting sites of the coming war, and adopting the Israeli 
line of dismissing with contempt all Arabs, particularly the Palestinians." 

It could not possibly be an accident that the Begin love affair with the 
right-wing evangelicals began at the very time that South Africa was 
beginning to establish links with, and funnel money to, the same groups. 
The religious right — to call it partial to South Africa is to understate the 
case — is given a great deal of the credit for the election of Ronald Reagan in 

The years when the administration was trying to harness willing Jews 
to its Central America policies were years of considerable contention 
between Jewish liberals and the less extreme shadings of Jewish rightism. 
The invasion of Lebanon had been a watershed, with some Jewish liberals 
resentful of pressure from the Begin government to quell their criticism and 
support the war. Hoping to foster civil rights, Jewish- Arab contact, and to 
prevent the strengthening of settlements in occupied territories and of 
hardline religious institutions, some of these liberals began exploring 
methods of channeling their donations to Israel to projects not controlled 
by the government-linked Jewish Agency.*' Some Jewish liberals began to 


argue that Jews must avoid making Israel the sole criterion of their political 
commitment and direct their political work toward multi-issue coalitions.''* 
This sparring has bypassed the many Jews outside the organized 
community. Jewish voters have not responded to the call from the right. 
Jewish males were the only white ethnics to vote against President Reagan 
in 1 984. In the March 20, 1 986 vote on contra aid, 2 1 of the 30 Jewish 
members of the House voted no. Prior to the vote, members of Congress 
had received a letter from the Union of American Heb rew Congregations, 
a grouping identified with ReformedJkjdaisi^^ 

'"^P.££S££ ?ted by UA HC^opposed military aid to the contras. The letter also 
refuted the anti-Semitism charges against Nicaragua.*^ 

Will the Lessons Be Learned? 

If Israel is to be disengaged from the war against Nicaragua, the 
impetus will have to come from the U.S. In Israel there has been only the 
smallest voice of opposition to involvement with the contras and it has 
quavered. That voice has originated with the leaders of the Mapam party, a 
socialist Zionist party whose base is the kibbutzim and which, until 1 984, 
had been part of the Labor Alignment, only breaking away when Labor 
joined Likud to form the 1984 unity government. 

A high-ranking Mapam delegation visited Israel in late 1 984 and on its 
return formed the Israeli Committee of Solidarity with Nicaragua,' a group 
which several Israelis described as "tiny" and "quiet." 

Two years later a delegation from Nicaragua's Agrarian Reform 
Research and Study Center was said to have been set to visit Israeli 
distribution cooperatives and kibbutzim as guests of Mapam. It was 
possibly Mapam's hope that contact with Nicaraguan officials might lead to 
an improvement of relations between the two countries.^ The visit, 
however, never materialized and soon after the eruption of the Iran-contra 
scandal the Israeli press said it had been canceled.' 

Responding to an article in a British magazine about the visit, the 
Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UK said that Nicaragua had never 
contemplated sending a delegation to Israel.* 

Instead of explaining why Nicaragua might under the circumstances 
have difficulty approaching Israel, Mapam showed journalists a letter it said 



was from the Nicaraguan delegation. A Mapam leader said Nicaragua had 
canceled the visit because of "Arab pressure." Mapam also remained 
"curiously silent" about the sale of Israeli Kfir combat jets to Honduras, 
under discussion at that time^ and deemed to be a major escalation of the 
situation in Central America. 

The Israeli government itself has blown hot and cold about Nicaragua. 
Its most enthusiastic statements about improving relations, however, came 
soon after the Iran-contra scandal broke, as Israel sought by every means 
possible to demonstrate that it could not possibly have had any connection 
with the contras. The Israeli government propagated a story in the New 
Y ork Times that between 1 982 and 1 986 it had tried to repair its relations 
with Nicaragua, offering development assistance programs and the pos- 
sibility of diplomatic recognition as a means of boosting Nicaragua's image 
"with an important sector of American political opinion."* 

The Nicaraguan government had quite a different perspective on what 
Israel had been trying to do. The government of Nicaragua would make no 
official comment on the Israeli claims, but a well-informed source, speaking 
on condition of anonymity, said that contacts between the two govern- 
ments had been scant, limited to the occasional encounter at the United 
Nations. Moreover, according to this source, Nicaragua believes that Israel 
has played a generally counterproductive role in Central America, aiding 
the Guatemalan and Salvadoran military forces in their bloody attempts to 
stifle domestic opposition, as well as supporting the contras. 

Where is the truth.' Israeli officials, for instance, say that when they 
were offering Nicaragua diplomacy and assistance they also pointed out 
that Israel "was refraining from helping the contras," even though 
Nicaragua's solidarity with the PLO and its vote in the UN with the 
Nonaligned bloc were "viewed as provoking Israel. 

Israeli officials routinely profess support for the Contadora peace 
process led by Panama, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia. However, in 
1 983 it took quite a bit of effort for the Contadora nations to get a statement 
from Israel supportive of their efforts to find a peaceful setdement for 
strife-torn Central America. ^ 

In 1 984 it was Nicaragua, not Israel, which offered to normalize ties. 
Talking to a visiting New Jewish Agenda delegation. Vice President 
Sergio Ramirez said that were Shimon Peres "to consolidate political 
power in Israel, there could be some prospect" for Nicaragua to reassess its 
relations with Tel Aviv.' 

But under Peres, Israel aided the Reagan Administration's vendetta 
against Nicaragua. In June 1986 Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir made 
the bizarre charge that impoverished Nicaragua was aiding the Palestine 

Israel and Central America 


f Liberation Organization.'" He later said that Nicaragua was aiding 
■ "terror," which he called "an international monster spread over con- 
, tinents." Shamir "congratulated the United States on its anti-terror war in 
South America," saying that Israel "favors cooperation for the suppression 
of terror."" Several months later, Israeli military sources charged that 
Nicaragua's national airline Aeronica had sold Fatah, the principal 
component of the PLO, four DC-8 aircraft to transport troops and military 
equipment. William Ramirez, Nicaragua's transport minister, heatedly 
denied the charge. "We would certainly like to have DC-8s," he said, and 
went on to list all nine planes in Nicaragua's civil aviation fleet. 

At the UN, Israel was the only country to vote with the U.S. against a 
1 986 resolution demanding that Washington revoke its economic embargo 
against Nicaragua.'^ On an earlier resolution upholding a World Court 
judgment against the U.S. and demanding that Washington cease its aid to 
the contras, approved by the General Assembly on November 3, Israel 
joined El Salvador and the U.S. in casting the only negative votes.'* 

With the probable defeat of further contra aid in the wake of the 
Iran-contra scandal, there will again be a vacuum in Central America; 
floating in it will be thousands of untethered contra mercenaries. Opinion is 
divided on whether Israel will also withdraw or whether it will increase its 
involvement with the contras, spurred on perhaps by the same minority 
factions in the U.S. establishment which developed and ran the war against 
Nicaragua in the first place. 

Given its past track record in Central America, if there is money to be 
made — two possible sources are narco-profits and donations from South 
Africa, which would have strong motivation for playing such an interna- 
tional role — and political leverage to be gained, Israel would very likely 
continue its low-profile assistance to the contras. 

Passive speculation about which outcome is more likely is not 
worthwhile if the goal is to dissuade Israel from delving further into the 
Central American bloodbath. Public pressure applied as never before must 
block that option; it leads to nothing more complicated than murder — and 
our complicity in it. 




What use is it to save Central Americans from death at the hands of 
U.S. -sponsored governments and mercenary bands if it is only to deliver 
them to the same clients and cutthroats courtesy of Israel.' Is work on behalf 
of the liberation struggle in South Africa of any use if Israel is not prevented 
from arming and entrenching the minority regime.' Yet, given the difficulty 
of restraining any of Israel's actions, is it not impossible to force a halt to 
these often clandestine activities, which are both lucrative and protected by 
powerful players in the U.S. establishment? 

It might be argued that in this era when the word conservative is used 
where "fascist" would be perfectly appropriate, and when "liberal" 
connotes those who drift in and out of "bipartisan consensus," progressives 
should be satisfied with any shred of victory they can achieve. However, 
unless the goal is a smug self-delusion, that is a lame argument. And when 
the issue is preventing Israel's support of repressive forces, a good case can 
be made that progressives have not fought very hard. Despite Israeli 
leaders' insistance that many of these interventions are carried out as part of 
Israel's "strategic" alliance with the U.S.; despite the unparalleled amount 
of U.S. assistance Israel receives, which makes it a virtual ward of this 
country; and despite the reality that the victims of Israeli aggression have 
no reason to distinguish its depredations from U.S. policy — many progres- 
sives refuse to be informed about, much less take responsibility for, Israel's 




Responsibility is incumbent in the inextricable relationship between 
progressive victories on Central America, which have forced the U.S. to 
pull back, and the following escalation of Israeli involvement in the same 
area. Guatemala is an example in progress, albeit largely ignored. Meaning- 
ful sanctions against South Africa have also led to stepped-up Israeli efforts 
to arm Pretoria (sometimes with U.S. technology) and to peddle South 
African exports here. 

However, there is much to suggest that sentiment exists for assuming 
that responsibility in a serious way. And there is even more cause for hope 
that a reasonably spirited fight against Israel's intervention will succeed. 
Conversely, failure to fight Israel's intervention in Southern Africa and 
Central America will greatly impair the U.S. left, already sorely wounded 
by its failure to include in its galaxy of concerns the Palestinian cause. 

What are the objectives in this fight, and what are the obstacles which 
must be overcome.' Simply stated, Israel must be identified as the scavenger 
of abandoned U.S. policy that in reality it is. Activists and progressive 
officials must be brought to understand that what Israel does outside the 
Middle East — and inside, too — has "made in U.S.A." stamped all over it. 
When Israel's actions are acknowledged to be our responsibility, it will be 
readily apparent that the solutions lie in U.S. leverage applied to Israel- 
leverage that exists in abundance, but has never been used. 

Standing between the present situation and that goal is one main 
obstacle: fear — fear and its twisted reflection, cowardice. To a lesser extent, 
the bonds developed over several decades between the U.S. covert 
establishment and Israel will resist uncoupling. 

The fear of confronting Israel is not misplaced. Often critics of Israeli 
policy have suffered damage to their reputations, have lost their jobs, and, 
in at least one case (that of Alex Odeh, Southern California director of the 
American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, assassinated by a bomb 
in October 1985), have lost life itself. There is no single source of this 
threat, no nerve center directing damage control for Israel. Instead it 
emanates from a number of organizations, which over the years have 
developed hyperagressive methods of defending Israel. 

At a minimum, Israel 's defenders demand of those who wish to remain 
in their good graces uncritical, unswerving loyalty. The most commonly 
used method of extracting compliance is to brand critics as "anti-Semites." 
This is almost always a false charge, equating criticism of the policies of the 
government of Israel with hostility toward Jews. Nevertheless, in the wake 
of the Holocaust, it is a potent and disquieting sobriquet, reverberating 
especially harshly in the ears of those who have sincerely struggled to 
conquer their racism. 

Conclusion 187 

The purpose of these charges of anti-Semitism — and they are leveled 
with equal flagrance at Jews and non-Jews alike— is to place Israeli policy 
beyond the reach of acceptable public discourse. It is tremendously ironic 
that those who purvey them have rarely bothered to distance themselves 
from the far more prevalent racism directed against Arabs (but of course, 
this form of bigotry seems to work in Israel's favor). 

One of the most extreme— and successful— examples of savaging all 
opposition is the U.S. Congress, where the slightest dissent against Israeli 
positions means almost certain opposition in the next election. In 1982, 
Israel's lobby AIPAC br agged that pro-Israel activists had defeated Illinois 
Republican Paul FindTey by pumping $685,000 in pro-Israeli political 
I action committee (PAC) contributions into the campaign of his opponent. 
Findley had represented his district for 22 years, had "voted consistently 
for aid to Israel," but had, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, 
taken an active interest in U.S. Middle East policy, urged negotiations with 
the PLO, and had himself met with PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat.' In 
addition to the PAC contributions (from every state in the country), 
AIPAC and its allies had discouraged politicians and performers from 
appearing on Findley's behalf, and had organized pickets and precinct 
walkers to insure his defeat. Findley wondered whether he had been 
"chosen for a trip to the political gallows to discourage other Congressmen 
from speaking out." When he asked an AIPAC staffer he was told, "You 
were the most visible critic of Israeli policy. That's the best answer I can 
give." Findley wondered, "could Israel's supporters not tolerate even one 
lonely voice of dissent?"^ 

Curiosity and dissent are a constant threat, urgently requiring 
suppression. When Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), a Jew and a strong 
supporter of Israel, developed a practice of freely criticizing Israeli policies 
at private meetings between influential senators and visiting Israeli officials 
in the mid-1970s, Israeli officials said "[b]y asking obviously hostile 
questions... he was encouraging his colleagues to take critical views of the 
Israeli position."' When Ribicoff agreed to have lunch with a representative 
of the PLO and another senator, Thomas Eagleton (D-MO), happened on 
the luncheon and joined the party, that was proof that "when a Jewish 
senator takes a position that undermines polices of the Israeli government makes it a lot easier for the non-Jews in the Senate to abandon pro- 
Israeli positions."* 

AIPAC does not wait until elections to make its influence felt. It 
coordinates the response of thousands of members throughout the country, 
who, on a moment's notice, will deluge their representatives in Washington 
with phone calls, letters, or even telegrams;^ AIPAC has on file signed 



proxies for the latter, so there will be no delay/ Although it is Israel's 
.J5gjstered foreign a^^^ also a networking mechanism for 

national and regional Jewish leaders, many of whom sit on its governing 

To the power of AIPAC must be added 

the jietwork of congressional aides strongly sympathetic to 
Israel who meet frequently to coordinate efforts to pass critical 
legislation and also write bills and speeches on Israel for the 
members of Congress for whom they work.^ 

In practice this works to stifle any serious consideration by Congress 
of issues relating to Israel. Action in Congress is limited to moving on 
Israel's agenda: withholding arms sales from Arab countries, passing 
resolutions forbidding U.S. officials from meeting with the FLO, passing 
resolutions condemning UN resolutions critical of Israel, and, of course, 
passing ever more monumental no-strings-attached aid appropriations for 

While AIPAC and the various Jewish organizations devote con- 
siderable energy to lobbying Congress, they also devote themselves to 
defending Israel in other areas of public life: JpcalpgHtks, academia, media, 
the ar ts^ In research spurred by his experience at the hands of this network, 
Paul Findley chronicled some of the casualties: a campaign against the 
Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary involving charges that its long-respected 
Islamic studies program was anti-Semitic and an "al-Fatah support 
group";' a shrill campaign against the Georgetown Center for Con- 
temporary Arab Studies for having accepted funds from Arab govern- 
ments;'" a campaign against a similar program at Villanova, a Catholic 
university in Pennsylvania, and against Middle East Studies programs 
nation wide;" a 1980 campaign against the director of the University of 
Arizona's Near Eastern Center featuring charges that she was "running a 
pro-Arab propaganda network," forcing the resignation of both the 
director and her superior.'^ 

A longrunning media vendetta was launched against the Very 
Reverend Francis B. Sayre, dean of the (Episcopalian) National Cathedral 
in Washington, D.C. after he preached a sermon in 1 972 criticizing Israel's 
treatment of Palestinians under occupation. Sayre later acknowledged that 
the attacks truncated his career.'^ Findley also found numerous instances of 
inti midation campaigns against political or ganizations, journalists, and 
media outlets. ~ ~~ 

There are similar tales from every community and every aspect of 
public life. The successful campaign to get the Boston Symphony 
Orchestra to drop a performance with Vanessa Redgrave in 1982 made 

Conclusion 189 

national headlines. Others make only a local stir, destroy careers, and then 
slip unnoticed into history. 

Local elections are a focus of intense activity, particularly where black 
candidates are involved. Because they have been among the most stalwart 
supporters of Palestinian rights, and because they have access to one of the 
largest voting blocs in the Democratic Party, black politicians experience 
particularly heavy pressure from pro-Israel activists. There is a history of 
friction, over the Middle East and affirmative action, between black and 
Jewish leaders, dating back to the Black Power movement and intensifying 
with the campaign around the Bakke anti-affirmative action case and the 
forced resignation of the Carter Administration's UN Ambassador An- 
drew Young for meeting with a representative of the PLC* Pro-Israel 
activists have scarcely concealed their interest in helping to determine 
which black politicians come to national prominence.'^ Thus candidates for 
local offices as unrelated to foreign policy as county supervisor are judged 
on their positions on Israel. Some are pressured privately and others are 
asked to endorse a sort of "loyalty oath," often reflecting such extremist 
Israeli positions as rejection of negotiations with the PLO.'^ 

The climate has been well prepared for such pressure tactics. There 
was little protest, except from American- Arab organizations and organiza- 
tions working on Middle East-related issues, when both AIPAC and the 
ADL published and circulated "enemies of Israel" lists.'' 

Most insidious is the constant barrage of Arab-as-terrorist propaganda 
loosed on Israel's behalf. It has become perfectly acceptable for candidates 
for office to refuse the donations of Arab Americans. The Mondale 1984 
campaign declared it had a policy of returning such donations." In 1986, 
Joseph Kennedy, Jr. returned a $100 donation to his congressional 
campaign from family friend and former U.S. Senator James Abourezk. 

It should not be surprising that, after failing to win a conclusive 
victory in its persecution of the sanctuary movement," when the Reagan 
Administration next decided to move against domestic dissent its target 
was eight Palestinian resident aliens and the Kenyan wife of one of them. 
They were arrested on January 27, 1987 after a full-blown FBI investiga- 
tion. However, as the investigation failed to turn up any evidence of 
"terrorism," they were held for deportation on a violation of the 
McCarthy-era McCarran- Waiters act — specifically for disseminating lit- 
erature advocating the goals of "world communism. "^^ There was an 
immediate outpouring of support from the civil liberties community and 
also from those concerned with the rights of immigrants and refugees. A 
strong defense committee was formed. It is still not clear whether the lesson 
of the administration's attempt to take advantage of the outsider status of 
the Palestinian movement has been fully absorbed by the left. 


That Los Angeles was the scene of this testing of the water could not 
have been more ironic. Slightly more than a year before the arrests Alex 
Odeh, the Southern California regional director of the American-Arab 
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), had been assassinated in nearby 
Santa Ana by a bomb rigged to go off when he opened the door to the ADC 
office.^' The FBI has continued to maintain that it is investigating that 
murder — but it has not yet been solved. 

Odeh had been interviewed on television the previous night, com- 
mending the efforts of Egypt and PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat to negotiate 
an end to the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro." An earlier bomb 
attempt at the Boston ADC office resulted in the death of a police officer as 
he tried to defuse it. Other officers of ADC have been threatened, as have a 
number of individuals who speak out against Israel.^' 

If this organized intimidation was all there was to the Israeli defense 
system abroad it would be formidable. But there is more. A recent 
mvestigation revealed the existence of an organized c am paign to influ ence 
t he coverage given Israel by the U.S . media. Called the HjsbaraProject— 
Hasbara being Hebrew for propaganda— the project has enjoyed the 
participation of leading lights of the U.S. corporate media. Israeli diplomats 
are trained through apprenticeships at Madison Avenue advertising 
agencies and public relations firms. They are taken to meet "top editors and 
executives at the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the network 
evening news shows," as well as editors and broadcasters around the 
country. They sit in on editorial conferences. Thus they develop both the 
contacts and techniques for getting a story killed or shaded. Often their 
efforts are buttressed by pressure from U.S. Jewish groups, which have 
succeeded in killing some television programs outright, intimidating the 
advertisers of others, and getting advertisements for opponents' causes 

Stephen Rosenfeld of the Washington Post observed: 

They want 100 percent. They don't want fairness; they want 
unfairness on their side, and when they don't get it they accuse 
the press of being unfair. Most journalists get so much 
uninformed, unfair whining from the organized Jews that 
Jewish organizations— and ultimately Israel— may lose their 

That day is far off. For now, the executive producer at Nightline 
admits that Israel is "overrepresented" on the show, and that the PLO is 
excluded— because it is not considered a "counterpoint to Israel. "^^ 

Underlying these efforts are the covert activities of Israeli agents of 
Mossad and possibly other intelligence services. Mossad, according to one 

Conclusion 191 

U.S. intelligence expert, "[has] penetrations all through the U.S. govern- 
ment. They do better than the KGB."" It is well known that Israel 
regularly monitors U.S. government communications (in order to be able 
to respond in a timely manner to any contemplated new policy directions.) 
"We have to assume that they have wire taps all over town," said a senior 
State Department official. 

Mos sad also, according to a 1979 CIA study, "a cquires data for 
factions in thelVest . ' ' According to tKisTtudy7Mossad 
u ses domes nc^ro^sFaeTi gre^^ work as well as highly-placed figures 
i n a variety of walks o f life.^^ Some activists suspect Israeli involvement in 
COINTELPRO, the CIA program of the 1960s and 1970s that targeted 
domestic dissidents. 

It is because these organizations and their methods have been allowed 
to proceed unchallenged for so long that they now appear so menacingly 
invincible. It is unlikely that they will melt like the Wicked Witch of the 
West with the first bucket of water. Nonetheless, insiders are aware that the 
juggernaut has little depth. "You have an underlying fragility that was only 
overcome by political fear," remarked a Defense Department official, in an 
attempt to describe a sudden outpouring of negativity toward Israel among 
government bureaucrats following the arrest of Jonathan Jay Pollard for 
spying for Israel.^' 

Of particular concern to Jews who have never felt that the pro-Israel 
network represented them, its actions only confirm the old shibboleths of 
anti-Semites: that Jews control the media; that they conspire to control the 
government. Some worry that an anti-Semitic backlash is inevitable. The 
vehement champions of Israel have no answer to this dilemma. They have 
been riding high for so long, it has perhaps not occurred to them that they 
have created something of a monster, with at least the potential capacity to 
inflict harm on its creator as well as its intended victim. 

For the moment, however, it is the progressives who are facing the 
monster— or would be, if they only dared to look. The fight will have to be 
waged where the challenge is: in the Congress and electoral politics; and in 
political and cultural life on a local level. The costs of blindness and 
passivity, in the long run, are apt to be even higher than a head-on 


In Congress 

Although it seems all but impossible to present a counterweight to the 
pro-Israeli lobby, there is already evidence that issues concerning Israel's 
behavior outside the Middle East are a key point of vulnerability. This 
suggests that it will be easier to persuade both activists and legislators to 
deal with Israeli intervention outside the Middle East than with anything 
Israel does within its own bailiwick. This is a tactical rather than a moral 
question. Israel's lobby is armed to the teeth on issues relating to 
brutalization of the Palestinians under occupation, Israel's use of Lebanon 
for target practice and spare water, and its strange assortment of strategies, 
alliances and enemies among the regional actors. 

The lobby is weaker where Israeli dealings with oppressor regimes 
outside the Middle East are concerned. Israel's ludicruous denials of any 
involvement with the contras after the Iran-contra scandal broke demon- 
strated two things: there is an absolute lack of excuses for such behavior; 
Congressional Democrats are offended by these activities,'" although they 
are too well disciplined to squawk about them. AIP AC doesn't have much 
to say either, at least nothing suitable for publication. 

Particularly hot potatoes have been issues dealing with Israel's 
relations with South Africa. The Jewish rank and file is also profoundly 
disturbed, preferring not to try to talk about why Israel must continue 
selling arms to South Africa. '' 

Everything Congress has ever done on this subject has been awkward, 
like children trying to get the cookie jar back on the shelf before being 
noticed. If anti-apartheid organizations had not been so delicate about 
avoiding discussion of Israel's support of the white regime, on at least two 
occasions Congress might have been left with no recourse but to do the 
right thing and apply pressure on Israel to halt its dealings with South 

Had there been a presence by representatives of anti-apartheid 
organizations when Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) proposed legislation on 
South Africa's nuclear weapons, things might have gone differently indeed. 
This is a supersensitive issue — not the nuclear arsenal of South Africa per se 
but its nuclear mentor, Israel — which, if Congress faced, might result in 
cutting off aid to Israel. U.S. law calls for cutting off aid to a client which 
shares nuclear technology with a non-signer of the Nuclear Nonprolifera- 
tion Treaty. (Neither Israel nor South Africa has signed the treaty.) 

When Rep. Conyers attempted to amend the 1985 foreign aid bill with 
an amendment, which he said was "a very simple prohibition that provides 

Conclusion 193 

that no foreign assistance, military or economic, may be provided to any 
country having a nuclear relationship with South Africa," the following 
dialogue occurred in the Africa subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs 

Conyers: All this amendment does, and it names no 
countries and it indicts no nations, is that we say that, any nation 
from this point on. ..having anything to do with developing 
nuclear capability with South Africa could be prohibited from 
receiving assistance from the United States... 

[Howard] Wolpe [(D-MI), Chair of the subcommittee]: I 
have some concerns about the amendment as it has been drafted, 
if I understand it correctly it could result in the cutoff of cash 
sales, military equipment to some U.S. allies and NATO, for 
example, France for example, if they have a nuclear relationship. 

I think, though, this is an issue that needs to be explored. I 
would suggest that this matter be further explored in committee 
hearings. ..'2 

Wolpe persuaded Conyers to withdraw the amendment on the promise of 
considering the issue during hearings on nuclear proliferation. That was in 
1985 — Conyers had just released a report on the 1979 nuclear test 
conducted by South Africa and Israel — and those hearings have never been 
held, largely through lack of expressed constituent interest, according to 
some congressional insiders. 

Another such scene played itself out in the Senate the following year, 
again without any activist input. This time, fortuitously, the results were 
better. But lack of constituent action has almost totally vitiated what could 
have been a real victory. Together with Sen. Dan Evans (R-WA), Sen. 
Charles Mathias (R-MD) — he was retiring and had nothing to lose— 
amended anti-apartheid legislation to penalize U.S. aid recipients which 
had military dealings with the apartheid regime. This section of the Evans- 
Mathias amendment caused great consternation among Democrats on the 
Senate Foreign Relations Committee. 

The committee retreated behind closed doors where, according to a 
staff member, the implications for Israel were openly discussed. Three 
votes were taken on the amendment. On the first vote Senator Alan 
Cranston (D-CA) joined rightist Republicans Helms, Boschwitz, Pressler 
and Murkowski in the minority. On a move for reconsideration, a 9-8 
victory was wrested by Israel's friends, who on that pass included 
Democrats Pell, Biden, and Dodd as well as Cranston. A third vote, 
occasioned by a change of heart on the part of Sen. Christopher Dodd 
(D-CT) affirmed the amendment by a vote of 10-7. Of the committee's 


Democrats, Cranston and Claiborne Pell remained in the minority with 
Jesse Helms and company. 

Although Sen. Pell's seniority would shortly boost him into the chair 
of the Foreign Relations Committee, the Rhode Island Democrat had never 
put himself forward as a national leader. Quite the reverse was true of 
Cranston, who in 1984 ran for the Democratic nomination for President 
and portrayed himself as the candidate of the nuclear disarmament 
movement. Also in 1 984, Cranston had led the pack in an outcry over the 
administration's efforts to transfer nuclear energy technology to the 
Peoples Republic of China. Acting on a briefing from the Israeli embassy, 
he worked to block the China sale for a year on the grounds that China 
might transfer the technology to Pakistan for its "Islamic bomb."" 
Cranston also styled himself one of the Senate's most adamant oponents of 
apartheid. Prior to his votes with Jesse Helms in the Foreign Relations 
Committee, he had introduced to the Senate the very exemplary bill against 
apartheid authored by Rep. Ronald V. Dellums (D-CA) that was passed 
by the House.^"* 

Interestingly, this was AlPAC's one notable failure in several years. It 
let this language, which became Section 508 of the Comprehensive Anti- 
Apartheid Act of 1986, slip into law. AIPAC had no chance to knock it 
out, as the bill was never debated before being passed by the Senate and the 
House, and then passed again by both hduses over the President's veto. 
However, just before the report mandated by Section 508 on U.S. allies 
dealing weapons to South Africa was due to be submitted to Congress, 
Israeli leaders worked out a gesture acceptable to Congress and the 
admmistration: a March 18 cabinet decision to phase out existing arms 
contracts and refrain from signing new ones. No mention was made of 
nuclear cooperation. Moreover, it was reported in Israel that during a 
January visit to South Africa, Defense Minister Rabin had signed new 
long-term contracts," thus making the March 1 8 decision utterly— and 
insultingly — meaningless. 

Immediately after the Israeli Cabinet announcement, representatives 
of AIPAC, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish 
Congress, the Religious Action Center of the Reform movement and 
U.S. Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Martin Frost 
(D-TX), and Howard Berman (D-CA) met with members of the 
Congressional Black Caucus and offered support for increased U.S. aid to 
Africa in exchange for silence on the contents of the report.'^ According to 
an extremely well-informed source, pressure on caucus members was very 
intense. Congressional sources said heavy constituent pressure would be 
needed to force Congress to break its silence and to act." 

Conclusion 195 

In February 1987, a follow-up sanctions bill sponsored by Rep. 
Dellums was introduced. It also contained language barring U.S. aid to 
allies with a military relationship with South Africa, but that language was 
withdrawn in March after pressure from pro-Israeli partisans. 

In the Democratic Party 

The battle lines in the Democratic Party arena have already been 
sketched out — by the money men and bosses — to include the Middle East. 
This became apparent during Jesse Jackson's campaign for the 1984 
Democratic presidential nomination. A wedge was driven into the left and 
it was partly immobilized by debate over whether Jackson was "anti- 
Semitic." Anti-Semitism was not the real question, of course. It was 
Jackson's independent position on the Middle East, mild as it may have 
been, but threatening enough as an example to call forth a shrill and 
hysterical campaign against Jackson as an "enemy of Israel." 

Pro-Israel activists play up — indeed, often overplay — the fact that a 
great deal of the early money that plays such a determinative role in the 
candidate selection process in the Democratic Party comes from Jews. 
Candidates for Senate are very likely to have been prescreened by Israel's 
friends before they are presented to the voters. Presidential candidates — 
always with the lockstep Middle East position, along with the standard 
issue Cold War interventionism — are habitually shoved down the throats 
of the prime constituencies of the party, minorities, progressives, peace 
activists. (Sometimes this gets out of hand, when too many pass muster. 
There was an unseemly competition before the 1984 New York primary, 
with several Democratic presidential candidates striving to be seen as the 
most ardent supporter of a bill mandating the move of the U.S. embassy in 
Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,'^ despite warnings from U.S. diplomats 
that this would lead to worldwide protests against the U.S.") 

The result of all this is an incapacitating dishonesty between activists 
and legislators who have carved out their turf on a specific area of concern. 
In this respect, Alan Cranston is the shining exemplar. In his 1986 race for 
reelection, Cranston received more money from pro-Israel PACs than any 
other candidate running that year. He also received support from peace, 
anti-intervention, environmental and social justice activists, who performed 
the crucial phone-banking and precinct- walking that resulted in his victory 


by the narrowest of margins. He is now shared, much like a vacation 
condominium, by groups with diametrically opposing interests. 

But Cranston is not the only one. Howard Berman, for example, 
champions liberal causes and then sits down with representatives of the 
Israeli Embassy and U.S. AID to determine where Israeli government 
experts will work in Central Americano and with his black colleagues to 
persuade them not to object to the carnage inflicted by Israel on struggling 
South Africans. A survey in late 1 985 found not one instance where a 
member of Congress had alerted organizations fighting contra aid that that 
year's contra aid package had been attached by the House leadership to two 
bills carrying aid to Israel. In 1985, $27 million in contra aid flowed from 
congressional coffers. 

This situation is replicated many times with never a confrontation, 
although obviously part of this problem could be remedied simply by- 
holding legislators' feet to the fire, giving them cause to resist the pressures 
of the pro-Israeli forces. There are very specific and reasonable demands to 
which lawmakers could be forced to respond. For instance: Congressional 
action against Israeli military and nuclear dealings with South Africa; as 
part of a broader campaign against U.S. funding of Vietnam-style 
pacification in Central America, a clear opposition to funding Israel to 
collaborate on the programs. 

All the usual tactics should be used: visits to district offices of 
Congressional representatives; letter writing (which is more effective when 
a written response is requested); individuals or organizations can call radio 
talk shows and write "op ed" pieces. Occasional phone calls to congres- 
sional offices and media editors are also helpful. Calls should be made after 
votes, as well as before them, expressing either agreement or disagreement 
with the position taken. This conveys a continuing interest in the issue. 

In pressuring legislators there is an obvious problem to be overcome. 
Progressives, even when they are organized around one issue, are not 
"single issue," the way the pro-Israeli forces are. Instead, for the best of 
reasons, their interest is more than single issue. Thus, organizations and 
individuals concerned with the Middle East and with Israel's support of 
bloody oppressors are likely to settle for candidates like Cranston, because 
they are "good" on so many other vital issues. And everybody takes it as a 
given that if a candidate or serving member of Congress begins to talk 
meaningfully about Israel, Israel's lobby will blow her or him out of the 

It IS worth trying anyway, especially on members of the House of 
Representatives. There are several dozen members of the 100th Congress 
(elected in 1 986) who would probably respond (gratefully) to constituent 


Conclusion 197 

pressure to bar Israel from Central America and from military deals with 
South Africa. Perhaps more would take advantage of any opening created 
for them to abandon the hypocrisy that has prevailed until now.*' 

To Gain the Advantage 

To avail themselves of this opening and to create others, organizations 
will first have to open up the issue of Israel's military, economic and political 
support of South Africa and its actions in Central America. While some 
anti-apartheid organizations have discussed it, others, have shied away for 
fear of losing Jewish support and being marginalized by charges of 

Local organizations rather than their national offices are probably 
better positioned to initiate discussion of Israel's impact on their area of 
concern. National organizations often come under intense pressure which 
can involve loss of funding or loss of access to members of Congress. One 
very prominent national human rights organization has been concerned 
about Israeli activities in Guatemala for several years. It has felt compelled, 
however, to limit its expression of concern to private communications with 
Israeli officials. 

Local organizations often are not constrained by the need to fund paid 
positions. They don't depend on elite cocktail parties. They can demand 
that Israeli complicity in murder — and Israeli violations of Palestinian 
human and national rights — be halted. Their determination to end Israel's 
undercutting of positive U.S. foreign policy positions can be expressed 
directly to Congress or used to fortify the resolve of national organizations, 
which can then report that grassroots sentiment is making discussion 
imperative. Local action should also, of course, be conveyed to the local 
media and put forward in coalitions. 

Organizations have many means, through the media or through public 
education campaigns, to communicate their demands. The International 
Fellowship of Reconciliation approached the Israeli government directly, 
in an open letter "To the People of Israel and their Government" which 
appeared in the weekly supplement of Al Hamishmar (the Mapam-linked 
daily). The letter was a direct and respectful plea that Israeli aid to the 
government of Rios Montt cease. The Fellowship called attention to Israeli 
military and "pacification" assistance to Guatemala and concluded: 

We respect the Jewish desire for the right to self determination of 
a people, based on its tradition, beliefs, and values. We therefore 



believe that you can understand the need of the people of Central 
America to decide the future of their nations without outside 
interference. We request of you not to stand in their way.''^ 

Coalitions which come together to put on a major demonstration 
frequently debate the inclusion of a demand concerning the Middle East. 
Sometimes these efforts are successful, sometimes not. But each time the 
subject of Israel — its intervention outside the Middle East, its crimes against 
the Palestinian people, or its position in U.S. military doctrine — is 
discussed, valuable work has been done. Fear is conquered, the issue is 
legitimized, some layers of self-delusion and hypocrisy about the realities 
of Israel's role in world affairs are stripped away. 

U.S. activists often receive an education in solidarity work when they 
learn that the South Africans or Central Americans that they support have 
strong and well developed bonds with the PLO. Many are surprised to 
learn how great the PLO's contribution to Nicaragua's development has 
been. Speakers from the ANC have made it a point to mention the links of 
solidarity between their organizations and the PLO; they have done much 
to educate U.S. activists on the justice of the Palestinian cause. 

Unfortunately solidarity workers have been slow to communicate 
what they have learned to the larger U.S. progressive community. And 
until broad sectors of the U.S. left come to grips with their isolation from 
the international movements for peace and justice, they will face impedi- 
ments to the creation of a truly mature and effective movement, one that is 
reflective of the extra responsiblity we bear as the opposition in the world's 
prime international offender. 

Some Success Stories 

Several organizations have raised and acted on issues of Israel's 
overseas activities. None has suffered undue consequences. 

The Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association 
passed a motion calling on the governments of the U.S. and Canada to 
"withhold foreign aid to any government which is aiding in the develop- 
ment of nuclear weapons for South Africa, or which is sending military or 
'security' equipment or advisers to the Union of South Africa.""" The 
National Conference of Black Lawyers has condemned the overall Israeli- 
South African relationship. At its fall 1986 national convention the 
Coalition of Black Trade Unionists considered a resolution condemning 

Conclusion 199 

Israel's ties with South Africa, and later passed a milder version which did 
not name Israel. 

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs conducted a study of Israeli- 
Nicaraguan relations and not only published the results, but conducted a 
media campaign to publicize its report.'*'' 

New Jewish Agenda investigated the allegations of Nicaraguan "anti- 
Semitism" and published pamphlets refuting the charges, as well as 
supporting the sanctuary movement and dealing with Israel's role in 
Central America. One pamphlet concluded, "As Jews concerned about 
Israel's security and well-being, we believe that the Israeli government can 
find ways to support itself economically without losing sight of its moral 

There has even been a demonstration against Israel's ties to South 
Africa and its involvement in Central America — in San Francisco in June 
1985. Sponsored by a wide ad hoc coalition of Central America, anti- 
apartheid. Middle East, and human rights organizations, the demonstration 
got press coverage and no one reported suffering attacks from pro-Israeli 

San Francisco anti-apartheid activists also worked actively to defeat a 
contract between the city and Israel's national shipping line, Zim. There 
was no ultimate victory: even after it was proven that Zim did business with 
South Africa (and thus was in violation of the city's anti-apartheid 
ordinance) the Board of Supervisors voted to lease port space to the line. 
But the struggle drew headlines for weeks, as well as editorials in the city's 
major dailies. Moreover, despite the strongarm tactics one supervisor 
charged had been applied to the Board, not one of the several organizations 
involved reported a loss of members, funds, or community standing.'** 

Numerous forums and discussions on Israel's foreign policy have been 
held at campuses and in communities across the country. Occasionally 
these programs have been disrupted by pro-Israeli activists, but many have 
been well attended and have received favorable press coverage. In 1 986, the 
November 29 Committee for Palestine organized a tour which included 
speakers from the ANC. This was especially successful in educating people 
on the political implications of Israeli-South African relations. 

These are only a few instances. Doubdess there are others where the 
pro-Israel juggernaut was confronted and reduced in its legendary 
dimensions. It would be good if they were known about. It would be better 
if they were multiplied across the country. 

Until the message is received in Washington that an end to Israel's 
foreign activities is an integral part of the progressive agenda, Israel's ability 
to take on the rejected fragments of U.S. policies will remain a problem 


with profound consequences for politics and foreign policy decisions in this 
country. For Israel's victims in Central America, Southern Africa and 
elsewhere, the consequences will be fatal. 



1. "Pretoria Unveils Updated Jet Fighter," Reuters, International Herald 
Tribune, ]u\y \1,\9%6. 

2. Radio South Africa (Johannesburg) External Service "Africa Today" 
program, 0100 GMT, July 17, 1986. 

3. Ibid. 

4. "Revealed: the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal," Sunday Times, 
Octobers, 1986. 

5. Stephen Green, Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations with a Militant 
Israel, William Morrow & Company, New York, 1984, pp. 148-169. 

6. "France admits it gave Israel A-bomb," Sunday Times, October 12, 

7. James Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, Quartet, London, 1984, pp. 

8. "Revealed: the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal" (see note 4), quotes a 
retired U.S. official as confirming this, the latest of many such reports. 

^- Martin Bailey, " Th e Blooming of Op eration Flower," The Observer 
(London), February 2, 1986; an earlier report oTtHiiTollaBoration by Claudia 
Wright appeared in theNew Statesman on August 2 3 , 1 985. See also "Iran: The 
Flower and the Yixer ," Israeli Foreign Affairs, March 1986. 

10. "Vanunu Brought from Rome," Israeli Foreign Affairs, January 1987 
and "Support Builds for Vanunu," Ibid., March 1987. 

1 1 .Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott, and Jane Hunter, The Iran-Contra 


202 Footnotes to pages 4-9 

Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Actions in the Reagan Era, South End Press 
Boston, 1987. ' 

12. James Brooke, "A cryptic call launched Guatemala coup," Miami 
Herald, March 28, 1 982; Rios was initially head of a 3-man junta, but he soon 
muscled his two partners out of the way and dissolved the triumvirate in June 

13. Ma'ariv (Tel Aviv), cited by Ignacio Klich, "Caribbean boomerang 
returns to sender," The Guardian (London), August 27, 1982. 

14. "Guatemalan Army Topples President in a Brief Battle," New York 
Times, August 9, 1983. 

15. Davar (Tel Aviv), February 14, 1984, translated in Israeli Mirror 
(London), No. 679, February 27, 1984. 

16. "The Israeli Connection," Economist, November 5, 1977. 

17. After the 1977 UN Arms Embargo, the Boers were able to continue 
buildmg weapons systems of several European countries, most notably France, 
under license. Also, at one time or another, weapons technology— and 
occasionally weapons— were obtained from the U.S., Italy, Britain, West 
Germany and other European countries. None of these deals provided' South 
Africa with such a consistent and vital flow of weapons and technology as it got 
from Israel. 

18. Cheryl A. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest 
University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1986, pp. 23-31 contains a summary of 
the history of the period leading up to and immediately after the adoption of the 
partition plan. 

19. Yoram Peri and Amnon Neubach, The Military -Industrial Complex in 
Israel, International Center for Peace in the Middle East, Tel Aviv, January 
1985, p. 3 1 , 

20. Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement, MacMillan, New York, 1984, 
pp. 4-5, 1 3 and passim. 

21. Ibid., pp. 104-109 and passim. 

22 . Ibid. , p. 1 3 . A protest statement sent to a planning committee said, in 
part, "The American Jewish Committee and B'nai B'rith are conviced that the 
wisest and the most effective policy for the Jews of America to pursue is to 
exercise the same fine patience, fortitude and exemplary conduct that have been 
shown by the Jews of Germany. This is not a time further to inflame already 
overwrought feelings, but to act wisely, judiciously and deliberately " 

23. Ibid., pp. 'i\A6. 

24. Ibid., p. 104 and passim. 

25. Ibid., passim., David S. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews 
Pantheon, New York, 1 984, passim. 

26. Jozef Garlinski, (Auschwitz historian) Letter to The Sunday Times 
August 30, 1981. 

27. This was the Biltmore Program, subscribed to by most of the major 
Jewish organizations. It vested diplomatic and political authority in the Jewish 
Agency. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest, pp. 25-26. 

28. Wyman, Abandonment of the Jews, p. 1 75. A special American Jewish 

Footnotes to pages 9-12 203 

Commission set up in 1981 analyzed the performance of the major organiza- 
tions during the pre-war and war years. (Walter Goodman, "U.S. Jews' 
response to Holocaust," New Fork Times, in Oakland Tribune, March 21, 

29. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest, pp. p. 33. 

30. Green, Taking Sides..., pp. 123-147. 

31. Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, Lawrence Hill, Westport, CT, 
1985,p. 117. 

12. Ibid., p. 116. 

33. Ibid., p. 1 19. See also Green, Taking Sides..., p. 25. 

34. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest, p. 9 1 . 

35. Green, Taking Sides..., pp. 180-214. It was in this war that Israel 
attacked and almost sank the U.S.S. Liberty, an unarmed intelligence ship. 
Evidence strongly suggests that the Israeli attack was deliberate, intended to 
keep the U.S. from learning about its plan to invade Syria. James M. Ennes, Jr., 
Assault on the Liberty, Random House, NY, 1 979, presents documents and other 
material in support of this position, which Israel has strongly denied, insisting 
the attack was an accident. 

36. Information Please Almanac! 98 5, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 
1985,p. 212. 

37. Green, Taking Sides..., p. 246. 

38. /^i<^.,pp. 248-50. 

39. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, 122. 

40. Eli Eyal, "Waiting for a Signal," Ma'ariv, June 2 1, 1974 in SWASIA, 
August 2, 1974. 

41. Wolf Blitzer, Between Washington and Jerusalem, Oxford University 
Press, New York, 1985, pp. 14-15. 

42. Ibid. 

43. Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics, Militant Evangelists on the Road to 
Nuclear War, Lawrence Hill & Co., Westport CT, 1986. 

44. Wolf Blitzer, End of the Honeymoon, Jerusalem Post Magazine, January 
16, 1987. 

45. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, p. 140. 

46. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest, pp. 330-376. 

47. In his book The Fateful Triangle, The United States, Israel & the 
Palestinians, South End Press, Boston, 1 983, Noam Chomsky chronicles many 
occasions on which Israel, backed by the U.S., has turned its back on an 
opportunity for peace. Without a doubt there are cynics in both legislative and 
executive branches who knowingly work to sustain a state of constant tension. 
Congress' role is to passively support that status quo, rather than to create or 
devise a strategy that might lead to peace. While it is questionable that most of 
the members of Congress who adamantly support Israel understand anything at 
all about the Middle East, the complaisance of their "team spirit" contributes to 
Israel's ability to "hang tough." 

48. Aaron Klieman, Israel's Global Reach: Arms Sales as Diplomacy, 
Pergamon-Brassey's, Washington, London, N.Y., 1985, pp. 16 and 26 

204 Footnotes to pages 12-15 

(footnote 7). 

49. Leonard Slater, The Pledge, Simon & Schuster, N.Y., 1970, passim, 
recounts the varied means of arms procurement the Zionists employed. 

50. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, pp. 17-19 and passim. 

51. Andrew J. Pierre, The Global Politics of Arms Sales, Council on Foreign 
Relations, Princeton University Press, 1982, p. 161. 

52. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 20. 

53. Ibid., p. 23. 

54. Bishara Bahbah, Israel and Latin America: The Military Connection, St. 
Martin's Press, New York, & Institute for Palestine Studies, Washington, 
1986, pp. 38-53. 

55. Richard Deacon, Israel's Secret Service, Taplinger, New York, 1977, 
pp. 208-209. 

56. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 23. 

57. Pierre, The Global Politics of Arms Sales, p. 1 6 1 . 

58. "Israel is Trying to Increase Weapons Sales Abroad," New York 
Times, January 12, 1976; John Yemma, "Israel guns for worldwide arms 
market," Christian Science Monitor, December 27, 1982; Yoram Shapira, and 
Joel Barromi, Israel-Latin American Relations, Transaction Books, New Bruns- 
wick, NJ, pp. 104-108. 

59. Dan Fisher, "Stung by Criticism, Israel Reviews Its Arms Industry," 
Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1986. 

60. Peri and Neubach, The Military-Industrial Complex in Israel, p. 68. 

61. Pierre, The Global Politics of Arms Sales, p. 125. 

62. Peri and Neubach, The Military-Industrial Complex in Israel, p. 81. 

63. Fisher, "Stung by Criticism, Israel Reviews Its Arms Industry." 

64. Citing SIPRI which gave Israel a ranking of 7th for 1982, Peri and 
Neubach, The Military-Industrial Complex in Israel, p. 68. 

65. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 22. 

66. Peri and Neubach, The Military-Industrial Complex in Israel, p. 68. 

67. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 57. 

68. Bahbah, Israel and Latin America: The Military Connection, Table 3, p. 


69. List compiled from lists in Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, pp. 135-142, 
with addition of Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Iran, South Africa, the European 
countries and other^changest^f author. 

70. Teodoro Ducach, "America Latina, Mercado Fundamental Para las 
Armas Israelies," Excelsior, May 8, 1986. 

71. F"isher, "Stung by Criticism, Israel Reviews Its Arms Industry." 

72 . It is not clear whether Bokassa, or President Hastings Banda of Malawi 
ever bought arms from Israel, but they did receive Israeli training for various 
military and pre-military youth forces, as noted by Israel Shahak. Isr ael's Global 
Role, Weapons for Repression, Association of Arab-American University 
Graduates, inc., BelmontTMA^ 1982, pp. 22-23. 

73. Fisher, "Stung by Criticism, Israel Reviews Its Arms Industry." 

74. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 99. For several years Ariel Sharon has 

Footnotes to pages 15-21 205 

been Israel's minister of trade and industry. 

75. Quoted from Peri and Neubach, The Military-Industrial Complex in 
Israel, p. 4; the term "security establishment lobby" from p. 53; the relative 
strengths of foreign ministry and export aparatus from p. 81. Klieman makes 
much the same argument. 

16. Ibid., 81. 

77. Ignacio Klich, "Nouveaux debouches en Chine pour Israel," Le Monde 
Diplomatique, March 1985. 

78. "Israel and Ethiopia," Israeli Foreign Affairs, May 1985. 

79. "The Israeli Connection" (see note 16). 

80. Ha'aretz, August 25, 1981 in Jane Hunter, No Simple Proxy, Israel in 
Central America, Washington Middle East Associates, Washington DC, 1 987, 
pp. 79-80. 

Part I: Israel & South Africa 

1. "Into Africa via The Back Door," Time, April 26, 1976. 

2. Naomi Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy Towards South Africa," 
African Affairs, Summer, 1983, p. 171. 

Z. Ibid., p. 199. 

4. Noam Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle, passim, details both the 
bankruptcy of many of Israel's "doves" and of Americans, liberals and many 
leftists, so corruptly eager to adulate not only the Israeli "doves" but much of 
the Israeli political spectrum. Dr. Israel Shahak, a concentration camp survivor 
who provides English-language translations of the Hebrew press goes further, 
challenging the "myth" "that the [organized] American Jewish community is 
especially devoted to human, or civil rights, to democracy and to other 'good 
causes.'" In an article in Middle East International, "The U.S. Israel lobby: fact 
and myth," November 9, 1984, Shahak points out that because of organized 
Judaism's "totalitarian or Stalinist support for the state of Israel," its motives in 
supporting other struggles are suspect: "Can we. ..believe that a community, as 
expressed by its organizations, which denies the concept of equality of rights in 
Israel and the territories occupied by it, supports it in Alabama.'" Shahak also 
points out that part of the exceptional influence of the organized Jewish 
community (see conclusion) derives from its associations with civil rights 
struggles. Many black observers have long pointed out that this association was 
patronage, rather than partnership. 

5. Aharon Klieman, Israeli Arms Sales: Perspectives and Prospects, Jaffee 
Center for Strategic Studies (Tel Aviv University), Paper No. 24, February 
1984, p. 37. 

6. Eric Rosenthal, "Jews in South African Trade and Commerce," South 
African Jewry 1965, Johannesburg, 1965, pp. 141-153, in Richard P. Stevens & 
Abdelwahab M. Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, The Progression of a 

206 Footnotes to pages 21-24 

Relationship, New World Press, New York, 1976, p. 72. 

7. Gideon Shimoni, Jews and Zionism: the South African Experience (1910- 
1967), Oxford University Press, Cape Town, 1980, pp. 3, and Chapter 2, 
"The Communal Ascendancy of Zionism," pp. 27-60. Xhe South A frican 
Jewjsh population has been fairly constant since early in the century, at about 

110,000. — 

''~''~~8~Ibid., pp. 42-47. 

9. Memorandum on Africa, Weizmann to Smuts, February 26, 1948, in 
Stevens and Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, pp. 91-94. 

10. Shimoni, Jews and Zionism, pp. 47-49. (Those were the days when 
South Africa was admitted to international organizations.) 

1 1 . "For love and money," Israel. A survey. Supplement to Financial Mail, 
(Johannesburg), May 1 1 , 1 984, p. 4 1 ; Ami Raz, "Africa-Israel Ltd. where did 
all the profit come from.'" Jerusalem Post, November 5, 1986. 

12. Quote from Ha'aretz, August 20, 1986 transl. in Israleft, #287; other 
details in David Lipkin and Rafael Man, "South African Jews invested millions 
in Israel, Ma'ariv, January 27, 1987 translated by Israel Shahak, in Collection: 
Israel, South Africa and the U.S.A. 

13. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 7. 

14. Shimoni, Jews and Zionism, pp. 203. 

15. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 3-5. 

16. Shxmoni, Jews and Zionism, p. 207. 

17. lbid.,Y>- 237. 

18. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, quoted from p. 9, preceding material 
from pp. 6-9. 

19. Sh\mom, Jews and Zionism, p. 210. 

20. Transvaler, December 1, 1946, Ibid., pp. 203-204. 

2 1 . Quotation from Rand Daily Mail, May 11,1 956 in AFP (Agence 
France-Presse), Africa South of the Sahara Bi-weekly Interafrican News Survey, 
Paris, May 11, 1956, June 15, 1956. 

22. Rita E. Hauser, "Israel, South Africa and the West," South Africa 
International, October 1980 (reprinted from Washington Quarterly, Summer 

23. Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy..." (see note 2). 

24. Abdelkader Benabdallah, L'Alliance Raciste Israelo-Sud-Africaine, Les 
Editions Canada-Monde- Arabe, Montreal, 1979, pp. 83. 

25. Chart from information provided by Israel's Division of International 
Cooperation in Shimeon Amir, Israel's Development Cooperation with Africa, 
Asia, and Latin America, Praeger, New York, 1974, p. 113. 

26. Figures from Israeli Foreign Ministry 1971 in Samuel Decalo, "Afro- 
Israeli Technical Cooperation: Patterns of setbacks and success," Curtis and 
Gitelson, eds., Israel in the Third World, Transaction, New Brunswick, NJ, 
1976, p. 93. 

27. Akiva Eger, "Histadrut: Pioneer and Pilot Plant for Israel's Interna- 
tional Cooperation with the Third World," in Curtis and Gitelson, Israel in the 
Third World, pp. 75-81. 

Footnotes to pages 24-26 207 

28. Babcock, Washington Post,]\ine. 15, 1986. For more details of Israel's 
development assistance in Africa see Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Israel's State 
Terrorism and Counterinsurgency in the Third World, Near East Cultural and 
Educational Foundation of Canada and International Center for Research and 
Public Policy, Washington DC, 1986; Hilmi Yousuf, African-Arab Relations, 
Amana Books, Brattleboro, VT, 1986. 

29. Quote from South African Zionist Federation, "Minutes of Boards of 
Hon. Officers of the Federation and Board, March 21,1 962," in Shimoni, /^m 
and Zionism, p. 319. Chapters entitled "South Africa and Israel: Strained 
Relations," and "Coping with the Crisis," pp. 305-353 provide an extremely 
valuable view of the dynamics governing Israeli-South African relations vis-a- 
vis the South African Jewish community. 

30. Ibid. 

31. Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy..." (see note 2). 

32. Ibid. The contribution was rejected. 

33. Yousuf, African- Arab Relations, p. 56 and passim. 

34. C.L. Sulzberger, "Strange Nonalliance," New York Times, April 28, 
1 97 1 , in Stevens and Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, pp. 130-131. 

35. Rand Daily Mail, October 10, 1967, in Rosalynde Ainslee, Israel and 
South Africa: An unlikely alliance? United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, 
July 1981, (Document No. A/Ac. 1 1 5/L.396) 

36. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 12-13. 

37. "The Israeli connection," The Economist, November 5, 1977. 

38. Shimom, Jews and Zionism, p. 356. 

39. Citing various dates of Rand Daily Mail, in Ainslee, Israel and South 
Africa: An unlikely alliance? p. 3. 

40. Hirsh Goodman, "International hypocrisy," Jerusalem Post, January 
23, 1987. 

41. Willie J. Breytenbach, "Isolation and Cooperation," Africa Report, 
November- December 1980. 

42 . Rand Daily Mail, May 1 0, 1 969, in Ainslee, Israel and South Africa: An 
unlikely alliance? p. 6; S^cAa^a (Journal of the African National Congress), April 

43. Shimoni, Jews and Zionism, p. 357. 

44. Sunday Times, October 10, 1976 in Ainslee, Israel and South Africa: An 
unlikely alliance? p. 8. 

45. C.L. Sulzberger, "Strange Nonalliance," (see note 34). 

46. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 114. 

47. Sunday Times, October 10, 1976; The Star (Johannesburg), May 25, 
1973 in Benabdallah, L'Alliance Raciste Israelo-Sud-Africaine, p. 180. 

48. C.L. Sulzberger, "Strange Nonalliance," (see note 34). 

49. Rand Daily Mail, September 11, 1971, in Ainslee, Israel and South 
Africa: An unlikely alliance? p. 8. 

50. Susan A. Giltelson, "Israel's African Setback in Perspective," Curtis 
and Gitelson, eds., Israel in the Third World, pp. 182-199 and Yousuf, African- 
Arab Relations, Chapter 5, "The African Drive for Peace in the Middle East," 

208 Footnotes to pages 26-30 

pp. 78-94 offer interesting (and contrasting) discussions of this period. Figure 
of 22 derived from chart, "Black African states which severed Diplomatic 
Relations with Israel, 1967-1973," on p. 94. 

51. Shimoni, /^wj and Zionism, p. 357. 

52. South Africa Digest, Week ending October 19, 1973 in Stevens and 
Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, p. 132. 

53. Cape Times, October 12 and 17, 1973, in Ainslee, Israel and South 
Africa: An unlikely alliance? p. 9; also Africa News, November 8, 1973, citing 
The Daily Telegraph, (n.d.) in Stevens and Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, p. 

54. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 15. 

55. Hauser, "Israel, South Africa and the West" (see note 22). 

56. CapeTimes, October 12and 17, 1973;/«'U)w^C/!ro«ic/^ (London), June 
28, and August 2 , 1 974, in Ainslee, Israel and South Africa: An unlikely alliance? 
p. 9. 

57. These visits, each with its reference to the daily press of the time, are 
enumerated in Ainslee, Israel and South Africa: An unlikely alliance? pp. 7 and 8. 

58. Breytenbach, "Isolation and Cooperation." 

59. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 43. 

60. /^ii.,p. 17. 

61. Wolf Blitzer, "Washington and Jerusalem," Jerusalem Post, June 13, 
\915,\nSWASIA,]\intll, 1975. 

62. "The Israeli connection" (see note 37). 

63. The Guardian, ]u\y 8, 197 5 m Jerusalem Post, ]u\y 10, 1975 summarized 
mSWASIA,]vi\y 25, 1975. 

64. "The Israeli connection." 

65. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 15-16. 

66. Ibid., pp. 131-133. 

67. Ibid.; Murray Waas, "Destructive Engagement: Apartheid's 
'Target U.S.' Campaign, The National Reporter, Winter 1985. 

68. Ibid.; Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 133 mentions the $100 

C69. Louis Rapoport, "Mystery Milchan," Jerusalem Post Magazine, 
February 21, 1986. 

70. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 16. 

7 1 . Jonathan Bloch and Andrew Weir, "The Adventures of the Brothers 
\ Kimche," The Middle East, April, 1982; Rapoport, "Mystery Milchan,". 

72. Dov Alfon, "Israel — South Africa: Business (almost) as usual," Koteret 
Rashit, June 25,1 986, translated by Dr. Israel Shahak, in South Africa and Israel. 

Footnotes to pages 31-34 209 

Arms Industry 

1. "A Very Welcome Visit," South Africa Digest, April 16, 1976. 

2. Terrence Smith, "Vorster Visit to Israel Arouses Criticism," New York 
Times, April 18, 1976. 

3. "Vorster: Man on a Wagon Train," Tiwz^, June 28, 1976 in Stevens and 
Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, p. 69. 

4. Benjamin Pogrund, "Israel's South African Ties," Jerusalem Post, April 
20, 1976 in SWASIA, May 7, 1976. 

5. Felix Kessler, "Israel Takes on an Odd New Ally, Wall Street Journal, 
April 23, 1976; Sharm El-Sheikh: Rabin lauds South Africa's Detente Bid," 
Jerusalem Post Weekly (sic), April 13, 1976, in Stevens and Elmessiri, Israel and 
South Africa, pp. 152-153. In Rabin's pretty words can be construed an 
endorsement of South Africa's attempts to impose a pax africana on the 
continent, to continue "creating coexistence" by warehousing blacks in 
bantustans, and to continue to defy international pressure to dismantle 

6. "Mount of Olives and Sharm El-Sheikh." 

7. "Vorster Visit to Israel Arouses criticism" (see note 2). 

8. Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy..." 

9. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 17 and passim. 

10. "Hands Across Africa," South African Digest, April 23, 1976, in 
Stevens and Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, pp. 149-150. 

11. "Need unites," The Economist, December 20, 1980. 

12. Major Gerald J. Keller, U.S. Marine Corps, "Israel South African 
Trade: An Analysis of Recent Developments," Set and Drift, Naval War College 
Review, Spring 1980. 

13. "Revealed: the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal;" Adams, The 
Unnatural Alliance, pp. 180-181 (see note 4, introduction). 

14. "France admits it gave Israel A-bomb" (see note 6, introduction). 

15. "Revealed: the secrets of Israel's nuclear arsenal" (see note 4, 

1 6 . Interview with Theodore Taylor (a protege of Robert Oppenheimer) 
by Noah Adams, All Things Considered, National Public Radio, October 6, 
1986, transcript courtesy of Charles R. Denton. 

17. Shai Feldman, Israeli Nuclear Deterrence, A Strategy for the 1980s, 
Columbia University Press, New York, 1982 discusses all of these themes — 
and also what the possible Western reaction to a declared Israeli nuclear posture 
would be. 

18. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 147-148. 

19. David Horovitz, "Israel reportedly urged India to join attack on 
Pakistan nuke plant," Jerusalem Post Foreign Service, in Northern California 
Jewish Bulletin, February 27, 1987. 

20. "France admits it gave Israel A-Bomb" (see note 6, introduction). 

21. Keller, "Israeli-South African Trade..." 

210 Footnotes to pages 34-36 

22. Washington Post, February 16, 1977 in Dr. Ronald Walters, The 
September 22, 1979 Mystery Flash: Did South Africa Detonate a Nuclear Bomb? 
Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund in cooperation with Congress- 
man John Conyers, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the World 
Campaign Against Military and Nuclear Collaboration with South Africa, 
May 21, 1985. 

23. Washington Office on Africa, Stop the Apartheid Bomb, pamphlet, 
February 1983. 

24. AFP, Le Monde, September 17, 1985, cited an article in the South 
African magazine Optima by a South African diplomat formerly attached to the 
International Atomic Energy Agency. 

25. There was considerable discussion at the July 1986 meeting of the 
OAU of a military offensive against apartheid. Except for ten rifles offered by 
President Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, (AFP, 0807 GMT, August 3, 
1 986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, August 5, 1 986, p. P-3) the force is still at 
the talking stage. "Spotlight on apartheid," West Africa, August 4, 1 986 gives a 
sense of the debate that is now going on. 

26. SIPRI Yearbook 1985, p. 322. 

27. Jonathan Kwitny, "Nigeria Considers Nuclear Armament Due to 
South Africa," Wall Street Journal, October 6, 1980 and "Africans are Advised 
to Develop Atom Arms," New York Times, June 10, 1983 in Leonard S. 
Spector, The New Nuclear Nations, Vintage Books, New York, 1985, p. 213. 

28. Stop the Apartheid Bomb (see note 23). 

29. Maps shown to author by an ANC London representative, October 

30. Walter Pincus, "S. Africa Uranium Plant Reported Ready," Washing- 
ton Post, in Los Angeles Times, October 2, 1986, also Andre Payenne, "La 
bombe atomique est une realite au pays de I'apartheid, " Le Journal de I'Economie 
Africaine, October 1985. 

3 1 . This gambit is suggested in Stop the Apartheid Bomb (see note 23). 

32. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 170. 

33. Speech to South African Institute of International Affairs, Johannes- 
burg, September 13, 1986, Ibid., p. 171. 

34. Ibid., pp. 180-181 and p. 195, which names the journalists as Eli 
Teicher and Ami Dor-on and their government sources. 

35. "Halting Pretoria's A-test," Newsweek, September 5, 1977. 

36. "A Friend in Need". 

37. Walters, The September 22, 1979 Mystery Flash, p. 1. 

38. Ibid., p. 5. 
19. Ibid., p. 16. 

41. Jack Anderson, "U.S. Knewin Advance of Mystery Blast," Washing- 
ton Post, April 26, 1 985 and another columns in Washington Post, September 14, 
\nQ,Ibid.,p. 12. 

42 . Thomas O'Toole, "South Africa Ships in Zone of Suspected N-Blast," 
Guardian, januaiy 31, 1980, Ibid., p. 12. 

Footnotes to pages 3 6- 3 9 211 

43. Stephen Talbot, "The Case of the Mysterious Flash," Inquiry, April 
21, mo, Ibid., p. 16. 

44. Executive Office of the President, Office of Science and Technology, 
Ad Hoc Panel Report on the September 22 Event, July 15, 1980, Ibid., p. 5. 

45. Thomas O'Toole, "Neutron Bomb Suspected in Africa Blast," 
Washington Post, March 9, 1980, Ibid., p. 7 and passim. 

46. Thomas O'Toole and Milton Benjamin, "Officials Hotly Debate 
Whether African Event was Atom Blast," Washington Post, January 17,1 980, 
Ibid.,'{>. 14. 

^7. Ibid., p. 15. 

48. Stephen Talbot, "The Case of the Mysterious Flash," Inquiry, April 
21, mo. Ibid. 

49. "Evidence shows S. Africa tested A-bomb in '79," Reuter, Jerusalem 
Post, May 22, 1985. 

50. Judith Miller, "2 in House Withdraw Atom Curb," New York Times, 
December 9, 1981 in Feldman, Israeli Nuclear Deterrence, p. 226. 

51. Walters, The September 22, 1979 Mystery Flash, p. 2. 

52. Ibid., p. 17. 

53. Congressional Record—House, ]u\y 11, 1985, p. H 5469. 

54. David Taylor, "Israel-South Africa Nuclear Link Exposed," The 
Middle East, April 1981. 

55. David K. Willis, "How South Africa and Israel are maneuvering for 
the bomb," Christian Science Monitor, December 3, 1981. 

56. Judith Miller, "Nuclear Contacts Quiedy Widened by Israel, Taiwan 
and South Africa," New York Times, ]une 28, 1981. Reference is made in this 
article to Taiwan, with which both Israel and South Africa have had some 
nuclear cooperation. 

57. Walters, The September 22, 1979 Mystery Flash, p. 3. 

58. Author's interview with Robin Morgan, head of Sunday Times Insight 
Team, October 19, 1986. Insight Team produced the Sunday Times reports 
cited above (October 5 and 12, 1986.) 

59. BBC TWO TV Newsnight, 2250 GMT, July 11, 1985, transcript 
courtesy of Palestine Liberation Organization, London. 

60. Martin Bailey, "South Africa's Island Bombshell," The Observer, 
(London), December 28, 1986. 

61. Interview, January 1987. 

62. Jewish Telegraphic Agency Bulletin, January 26, 1970, in Abdelwahab 
M. Elmessiri, "Israel and South Africa: A Link Matures," in Stevens and 
Elmessiri, Israel and South Africa, pp. 67. 

63. C.L. Sulzberger, "Strange Nonalliance." 

64. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance devotes a chapter (pp. 38-71) to the 
complicated series of ruses by which South Africa gained the SRC gun, 
bringing to public view the results of several government investigations and an 
investigation by the Burlington Free Press (Vermont). These and other sources 
are summaried in his notes, pp. 206-207. 

65. Hyam Corney, "Israel helped CIA get arms to S. Africa— TV report," 

2 1 2 Footnotes to pages 40-4 1 

Jerusalem Post, October 21, 1980. 

66. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 38-71. 

67. Taylor, "Israel-South Africa Nuclear Link Exposed." 

68. Rand Daily Mail, January 30, 1979 in Policies of Apartheid of the 
Government of South Africa, Special Report of the Special Committee against 
Apartheid on recent developments in the relations between Israel and South Africa, 
November 2, 1979, UN Document 79-28658. 

69. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 105-107. 

70. "Pistol Shipment now to go to South Africa via Israel," Arbeiter- 
Zeitung (Vienna), June 29, 1983, in FBIS Western Europe, July 6, 1983, p. 

71. "A Friend in Need". 

72. Hauser, "Israel, South Africa and the West." 

73. William E. Farrell, "Israeli Tours South Africa As Arms-Trade Furor 
Grows," N^TO York Times, February 10, 1978. 

74. Bernard D. Kaplan, "South Africa's enemies are also Israel's enemies," 
San Francisco Examiner, July 11, 1 976. These were said to be part of the arms 
Israel captured during the 1973 war. They might have been, but they might 
also have been weapons Israel obtained on the international arms market (or 
perhaps even fabricated). A former CIA officer has told the author that Israel is 
the second biggest dealer, after the USSR, of East-bloc weaponry. The same 
would hold true regarding arms Israel would ship to Iran and to the contras, all 
of which were said to have been captured in Lebanon. 

75. The Economist Foreign Report, March 26, 1980 in Ainslee, Israel and 
South Africa: An unlikely alliance? p. 1 3. 

76. Johathan Broder, "Israel Grows Sensitive over Links to South Africa," 
Chicago Tribune, April 2, 1977. 

77. Dial Torgerson, "Weizman Reportedly Visited South Africa," Los 
Angeles Times, March 20, 1980. 

78. Defense and Foreign Affairs Daily, March 1 6, 1 983 in Peter L. Bunce, 
"The Growth of South Africa's Defence Industry and its Israeli Connection," 
Journal of Royal United Services Institute, London, June 1984. 

79. Cited in William E. Farrell, "Israeli Tours South Africa As Arms- 
Trade Furor Grows," New York Times, February 10, 1978. 

80. Broder, "Israel Grows Sensitive over Links to South Africa" (see note 


8 1 . The low number comes from the contention of Naomi Chazan (to Le 
Monde, August 14, 1985) that sales to South Africa represent "only" 5percent 
of Israel's military exports. The high figure from New York Times, March 1 9, 

82. SIPRI Yearbook 1981, p. 84, 86. 

83. The loyalty and enforcement to maintain the blanket of silence is 
apparently so complete that Israelis were literally shocked that Mordechai 
Vanunu would reveal the workings of the Dimona nuclear plant. 

84. Economist Foreign Report, November 2 , 1 977 in Adams, The Unnatural 
Alliance, p. 93. 

Footnotes to pages 4 1 -42 213 

^5. Ibid., p. 93. 

86. "I saw homeland police and members of the SADF laugh and joke as 
they hurled teargas canisters into buses full of cheerful, chanting people in 
KwaNdbele yesterday," wrote a reporter on the front page of the Johannesburg 
Star. {Johannesburg Star, May 15, 1986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, May 
19, 1986, p. \J-2l;New York Times, May 15, 1986 has a picture of this incident 
in which two youths were killed.) 

"A one-year-old baby fainted after inhaling teargas fumes when security 
forces fired at mourners in the Port Elizabeth township of Kwazakhele during a 
funeral of unrest victims," reported the South African radio. (SAPA, Johan- 
nesburg, 1932 GMT, March 8, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, March 
10, 1986, p. U-10.) 

"Four Saulsville children had to be treated by a local doctor after teargas 
had been sprayed into their home on Saturday." (SAPA, 1 107 GMT, March 
17, 1986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, March 18, 1986 p. U-9.) 

"President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, Dr. Allan 
Boesak, is considering laying charges after a teargas canister was lobbed into his 
car at a church service in Elsies River today." (SAPA, 2130 GMT, July 20, 
1986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, July 21, 1986, p. U-6.) 

"In February 1987 white government authorities acknowledged 20 
instances in which teargas was used against prisoners since the declaration of the 
1985 state of emergency." (SAPA, 1620 GMT, February 10, 1987, in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, February 11, 1987, p. U-6). 

87. For more details see Jane Hunter, "The Tel Aviv-Pretoria Arms 
Link," Israeli Foreign Affairs, February 1986. 

88. "Spy Plane Had Israeli Patent," Tanzanian Daily News, June 3, 1983; 
Joseph Hanlon, "South Africa Adopts Israeli Military Tactics," New African, 
August 1983. 

89. Al-Safir (Beirut), April 26 and May 13, 1986, in FBIS Middle East & 
Africa, and confidential sources. For complete account and analysis see Jane 
Hunter, "Copters for Pretoria," and "Zaire: Way Station to Iran," Israeli 
Foreign Affairs, June 1986 and January 1987, respectively. It is possible that 
part of this shipment was involved in the Iran-contra affair, in which South 
Africa's role has barely begun to be explored, but in which it seems fairly clear, 
money and materiel were shifted around from one band of US-backed 
mercenaries to another, as well as to Iran. 

90. Sunday Telegraph (London), November 16, 1987 cited by South 
Africa Press Association, 1340 GMT, November 16, 1986 in FBIS Middle 
East & Africa, November 19, 1986, p. U-12. 

91. Martin Streetly, "Israeli airborne SIGINT systems," Jane's Defence 
Weekly, December 27, 1986; The SIPRI Yearbook 1984, p. 243, lists " B-707- 
320B Transports sold to South Africa," with the notation that this aircraft is also 
designated B-707-344C. 

92. Interview with Martin Streetly, December 1986. See also Jane Hunter, 
"More Military Deals With South Africa," Israeli Foreign Affairs, February 

2 1 4 Footnotes to pages 42-44 


93. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pawiw., Bunce, "TheGrowth of South 
Africa's Defence Industry and its Israeli Connection." 

94. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 106. 

95. "The Israeli Connection." 

96 Adams The Unnatural Alliance, p. 122; Norman L. Dodd, "African 
Navies South of the Sahara," Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, vol. 109,no 
3, pp. 53-54, in Bunce, "The Growth of South Africa's Defence Industry and 
its Israeli Connection." 

97. "A Friend in Need". 

98. Jane's Infantry Weapons 1982-83, p. 167 in Bunce, 'The Growth ot 
South Africa's Defence Industry and its Israeli Connection." 

99 Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 122-123. 

100. BBC World Service, 0606 GMT, June 6, 1986 in "'Israeli' Missile 
Sinks Ship," Israeli Foreign Affairs, July 1986. 

101. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 122-123. 

102. "The Israeli Connection." 

103. Aviation and Marine International, February 1980, Strategy Week, 
November 24: 30 1980, and .4 rw«rfa/«f^?-«<i?wn<i/,January 1980 in Adams, T/z^ 

Unnatural Alliance, p. \23. , ,t, „ ^, , j j , 

1 04. Christopher Coker, "Botha's Threat from the West, The Independent 
(London), October 8, 1986. 

\^S.Ibid. , ^ . . 

106. Charles R. Denton, "Submarines for Israel," Israeli Foreign Affairs, 

February 1986. „ . „ . 

107. "W. German sub plans sold to S. Africa," AP, San Francisco Examiner, 

December 11, 1986. , 

108. Mark Daly, "South Africa's Cheetah Mirage update, Jane s Defence 

Weekly, July 26, 1986. 

109 Denton, "Submarines for Israel" (see note 106). 

110. Charles Babcock, "How U.S. Came to Underwrite Israel's Lavi 
Fighter Project," Washington Post, August 6, 1986. 

111. Richard Witkin, "U.S. Plane Deal Spurs Drive in Israel to Build Own 
Jet," New York Times, May 21, 1978. 

112. John Fialka, "Israel Bucks Big Leagues in Arms Sales, Wall Street 
/oarM/, June 22, 1984. ■ r t 

113 "House Panel Votes Amendment Clearmg U.S. Funds tor Lavi, 
Aviation Week and Space Technology, March 25, 1985. These concessions 
amounted to $250 million in 1984, and $200 million m 1985 and 1986.^ 

114. Broder, "Israel Grows Sensitive over Links to South Africa" (see 

IxY Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1 1 05, 1 200 and 1 900 GMT, March 1 9, 
1980 FBIS Middle East and Africa, March 19, 1980, p. I-l. 

116 Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 109. This information has been 
repeated many times, most recently by Michael Hornsby, "Pretoria Shows off 
its Military Might, The Times of London, September 14, 1984; Dial Torgerson, 

Footnotes to pages 44-47 2 1 5 

"Weizman Reportedly Visited South Africa," also mentions Weizman's secret 

117. Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, "Has congress Doomed Israel's Affair 
With South Africa.'" (Editorial Section) Washington Post, February 22, 1987. 

118. Babcock, "How U.S. Came to Underwrite Israel's Lavi Fighter 

119. "Strangers and Brothers," Sunday Times of London, April 15, 
1984— article based on James Adams' The Unnatural Alliance. 

120. "Lavi Contracts With U.S. Companies Detailed," Aviation Week & 
Space Technology, January 21, 1985. 

121. "Decrease in U.S. Aid to Israel May Force Halt in Lavi Program," 
7*i<i.,June 9, 1986. 

122. "Lavi - lAI seeks U.S. partner," Flight International, May 3, 1986. 

123. Rita E. Hauser, "Israel, South Africa and the West." 

124. Hirsh Goodman of Jerusalem Post quoted by Oakland Tribune editorial 
"Dog fighter or dog of a fighter?" August 22, 1986. 

125. Daniel Snyder, "Japan Eyes U.S. For Fighter," Defense Week, May 
27, 1986. 

126. Fialka, "Israel Bucks Big Leagues in Arms Sales" (see note 112). 

127. Charles Babcock, "How U.S. Came to Underwrite Israel's Lavi 
Fighter Project,". 

128. "Northrop Hahs Work on F-20 Fighter Plane," AP, Los Angeles 
Times, November 18, 1986. 

129. "Decrease in U.S. Aid to Israel May Force Halt in Lavi Program" 
(see note 121). 

130. Leonard Silk, "Military Costs An Israeli Issue," New York Times, 
June 4, 1986. 

131. "House Leaders: Release Lavi Funds," Defense News, July 21,1986. 

132. "Dog fighter or dog of a fighter?" 

133. Fialka, "Israel Bucks Big Leagues" (see note 112). 

134. "The Israeli connection," Military Technology, MILTECH 20, pp. 
26-36 in Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 1 10-1 11. 

U5.Ibid.,p. 110. 

Arms Sales & Policy 

1. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 123 

2. Ibid., pp. 112-113; collaboration also noted by Broder, "Israel grows 

3. Judy Siegel, "Plans launched for absorbing South African Jews," 
Jerusalem Post, August 20, 1985 

4. Farrell, "Israeli Tours South Africa..." (see note 78, chapter 3). 

5. Yediot Aharonot, February 15, 1981, translator unknown. 

2 1 6 Footnotes to pages 48-51 

6. Luanda Domestic Service, 1430 GMT, May 29, 1985, FBIS Middle 
East and Africa, May 30, 1 985, p. U- 1 . The commando also explained that his 
groups' orders had been to make the attack appear as if it had been perpetrated 
by UNITA, the South African- and U.S. -backed mercenaries pitted against 

7. PANA (Pan African News Agency, Dakar) 0901 GMT, November 
1 0, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, November 1 3 , 1 986, p. U-5; SAPA, 
Johannesburg, 1735 GMT, October 28, 1986 and llanga (Durban Zulu 
language publication), October 27-29, 1986, in FBIS Middle East & Africa, 
October 29, 1986, p. U-10. 

8. SAPA, 1 143 GMT, January 22, 1987 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, 
January 23, 1987, p. U-1. 

9. Michael Parks, "Black Neighbors Say S. Africa Risks War in Region, 
Blame Pretoria in Death of Machel," Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1 986. The 
day before Machel was killed there were reports from Mozambique of great fear 
and expectations of a South African attack to overthrow the Frelimo 
government {Observer, October 19, 1986). Zambia had just discovered and 
broken up a Unita supply route {West Africa, October 20, 1986). 

10. National Public Radio, All Things Considered, October 24, 1986. 

11. "Samora Machel's Last Flight: Fake Racist Beacon Downed Plane," 
The Herald (Harare), October 28, 1986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 
November 5, 1986, p. U-1 3. 

12. SAPA, 1722 GMT, January 22, 1987 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, 
January 23, 1987, pp. U-1-2. 

13. Jim Fish, "Last day of a president," The Guardian (London), October 
21, 1986. 

1 4. Quarterly Economic Review of Zaire, Rwanda, and Burundi, No. 4,1985. 
15.SAPA,Johannesburg, 1735GMT,October28, 1986, in FBIS Middle 

East and Africa, October 29, 1986, p. U-10. 

16. Paul Fauvet, "Machel's Plane May Have Been Lured Off Course," 
Guardian (New York), February 4, 1987. 

1 7. Station commentary on Johannesburg Domestic Service, 0500 GMT, 
December 12, 1984 in FBIS, Middle East and Africa, December 20, 1984, p. 

1 8. Jonathan Kapstein, "Armed Confrontation Builds in South Africa," in 
Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute, December 1981, p. 32, in Bunce, "The 
Growth of South Africa's Defence Industry and its Israeli Connection." 

1 9. W. Andrew Terrill, "South African Arms Sales and the Strengthening 
of Apartheid," Africa Today, 2nd Quarter, 1984. 

20. This section is based on author's interviews and Setting U.S. Policy 
Toward Apartheid, Senate Report 99-370, Calendar No. 775, 99th Congress, 
2nd Session, August 6 (legislative day, August 4) 1986. For more extensive 
coverage of the legislation and reactions to it, see issues of Israeli Foreign Affairs 
for September and October, 1986 and January, February and March 1987. 

2 1 . Thomas L. Friedman, "Israelis Reassess Supplying Arms To South 
Africa," New York January 29, 1987. 

Footnotes to pages 51-53 217 

22. Benny Morris, "Israel to keep status quo with SA," Jerusalem Post, 
January 28, 1987. 

23. Melman and Raviv, "Has Congress Doomed Israel's Affair With 
South Africa?" 

24. Friedman, "Israelis Reassess Supplying Arms To South Africa" (see 
note 19). 

25. Newsweek, February 2, 1987. 

26. Melman and Raviv, "Has Congress Doomed Israel's Affair With 
South Africa.'" (see note 116, chapter 2). 

27. Dan Fisher, "Israel to End Arms Sales to S. Africa," Los Angeles Times, 
February 12, 1987. 

28. Ibid. The only promises Israel has kept with any regularity are its vows 
to mount military attacks every time it experiences what it perceives as a 
"terrorist" attack within the territory it occupies. 

29. Asher Wallfish, "Israel's [sic] won't 'play tricks' over Pretoria," 
Jerusalem Post, January 28, 1987. 

30. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 125. 

3 1 . Melman and Raviv, "Has congress Doomed Israel's Affair With South 

32. UND0C. A/33/22/Add. 2,paras. 17, \9 m\tt, Israel and South 
Africa: An Unlikely Alliance? 'p- 13. 

33. South Africa Digest, March 30, 1979 and The Star (weekly airmail ed., 
Johannesburg), June 16, 1 979 in Special Report of the Special Committee against 
Apartheid..., p. 4. 

34. Guatemala! Guatemala News and Information Bureau, (Oakland CA.), 
September-October 1986. 

35. The Star, no date given, cited by Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1700 
GMT, May 24, 1982 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, May 25, 1982, p. 1-4. 

36. SIPRI Yearbook 1986, p. 399. 

37. "Is Israel Still Selling Arms to Iran.'" Israeli Foreign Affairs, February 
1985; "Iran Mystery Plane," Ibid., November 1985 (this turned out to be one 
of the joint U.S.-Israeli shipments that came to light when the Iran-contra affair 
broke) "The Great Iran Arms Sale Plot," Ibid., June 1986; "Israel's Peccadil- 
los," /^irf., October 1986. 

38. Martin Sieff, "S. Africa barters arms for oil; Iran, Iraq get same 
weapons," Washington Times, December 23, 1986. 

39. Ibid. 

40. "Fib of the Month," Israeli Foreign Affairs, August 1986. 

41. Simon Malley, "Le contrat Hassan Il-Peres," Afrique-asie, week 
ending September 21, 1986 and "Ifrane's Hidden Agenda," Israeli Foreign 
Affairs, November 1986. 

42. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 140 

43. "Des officiers israeliens sur le 'mur,'" Afrique-asie, week ending 
October 19, 1986. 

44. Al-Sh'ab (Cairo), January 20, 1987 in FBIS Middle East & Africa. 

45. W. Andrew Terrill, "Potential Global Responses to South African 

2 1 8 Footnotes to pages 54-56 

Arms Export Policies," Africa Today, 2nd Quarter, 1984 makes this argument 
in urging that the UN embargos on arms sales to South Africa and arms 
purchases from South Africa be upheld. 

46. "The strong alliance between Israel and South Africa derives from 
their similarity of condition — both are settler colonial states which see 
themselves as outposts of Western civilization in 'a sea of barbarism.' Though 
the South Africans quite openly acknowledge this affinity, the Israelis find it 
more a source of embarrassment than pride." Alfred Moleah, "The Unholy 
aUiance," Palestine Focus, August 1983. "One thing that brings them together is 
their total opposition to the right to self-determination for the indigenous 
people of South Africa and for the Palestinian people. Of course, there are other 
parallels: the use of religion as a basis, or spiritual rock. ..the claim of 
predestination, or divine right; and the view of Palestine and South Africa as 
'promised lands."' Mfanafuthi (Johnny) Makatini, director of International 
Affairs Department and Chief Representative to the United Nations of the 
ANC, Interview in Geneva, September 1 983 in Steve Goldfield, Garrison State, 
Palestine Focus Publications, San Francisco/EAFORD, London and New 
York, 1985, p. 65. 

47. Kenneth Adelman, "The Club of Pariahs, "/i/nVa/^fport, November- 
December 1980 

48. Kaplan, "South Africa's enemies are also Israel's enemies." 

49. Paul Moorcraft quoted by Paul Van Slambronck, "South Africa and 
Israel: birds out of favor flock together," Christian Science Monitor, June 6, 1983. 

50. Sunday Express, no date or place given, quoted in "The Israeli-South 
Africa Axis— a Treat to Africa," Sechaba (official organ of the African National 
Congress), April 1970. 

51. Broder, "Israel Grows Sensitive..." 

52. Adams, "Israel and the Fortification of South Africa," Chapter 5 in 
The Unnatural Alliance, pp. 73-101. 

53. Ibid., p. 80. 

54. Howard Taylor, Jr. and John Flinn, "Tutu tells clergy he's troubled 
by reported Israeli ties toS. Africa," San Francisco Examiner, Jamiaiy 22, 1986. 

55. Roy Isacowitz, "S. Africa blacks want ties with groups here," 
Jerusalem Post, July 26, 1985. 

56. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 0700 GMT, August 11, 1985, in FBIS- 
Middle East and Africa, August 13, 1985, p. 1-7. 

57. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, in Northern California Jewish Bulletin, 
April 11, 1986. 

58. Letter signed by L. Hlongwane to City Press, November 10, 1985. 

59. Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 93, citing Israeli intelligence sources 
and Israeli and South African diplomatic sources (note, p. 208). 

60. Yoram Peri, "Les relations d'Israel avec I'Afrique du Sud ne sont ni 
morales ni rentable," Davar,]u\y 9, 1 978, translation from Hebrew into French 
from unknown source. 

61. Drew Middleton, "South Africa Needs More Arms, Israeli Says," 
New Fork Times, December 14, 1981. 

Footnotes to pages 56-59 219 

62. Uri Dan, "The Angolan Battlefield," Monitin, January, 1982, 
translated by Dr. Israel Shahak, Shahak Collection, early 1982. 

63. For a full account of South Africa's brutal occupation of Namibia see 
John Ya-Otto, Battlefront Namibia, Lawrence Hill & Co., Westport CT, 1 98 1 . 

64. "Namibia Offer Merely Diplomatic 'Cheap Shot,'" Rand Daily Mail, 
June 8, 1984 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, June 8, 1984, p. U-5. 

65. Johannesburg Domestic Service, 1500 GMT, June 11, 1984, FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, June 12, 1984, p. U-3. 

66. "Israel to Provide Development Aid," The Windhoek Advertiser, April 
22, 1985, in JPRS (U.S. Govt. Joint Publications Research Service) Sub- 
Saharan Africa, June 13, 1985. 

67. "Benefits of Ministers' Visit to Israel Reviewed," Windhoek Observer, 
July 26, 1986 mJPRS. 

68. Hillel Schenker, "Facing the Third World," Israel Horizons, March- 
April 1986. 

69. SWAPO representative Hidipo Hamutenya interviewed by Tom 
Foley ("SWAPO leader: Namibia is held hostage by U.S.") Peoples Daily 
World, September 23, 1986. 

70. Adams, "Strangers and Brothers." 

71. Quoting Def. Minister Magnus Malan, Johannesburg Domestic 
Service, 0600 GMT, May 13, 1985 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, May 13, 
1985, p. T-5. 

72. Joseph Hanlon, "South Africa adopts Israeli military tactics," New 
African, August 1983. 

73. Chomsky, The Fateful Triangle, pp. 217-228. 

74. Maputo in English to Southern Africa, 1 800 GMT, October 17,1985 
in FBIS Middle East and Africa, October 21, 1985, p. U-1. 

75. As reported by BBC World Service, 1025 GMT, January 7, 1986, 
taped from relay broadcast by KXLR-AM, San Francisco. 

76. "South African Defends Raids on Neighbor Nations," New York 
TiwM, May 21, 1986. 

77. Asher Wallfish, "Sharon on Attacking 'Terrorist' HQ in Jordan," 
Jerusalem Post, July 30, 1985 in FBIS, Middle East and Africa, July 30, 1985. 

78. Frank J. Prial, "Israeli Planes Attack P.L.O. in Tunis, Killing at Least 
30; Raid 'Legitimate,' U.S. Says," and Bernard Gwertzman, "As U.S. 
supports Attack, Jordan and Egypt Vow to Press for Peace," New York 
Times, October 2, 1985; John Bulloch, "PLO Victims were Mossad Agents," 
Daily Telegraph (London), October 3, 1985. 

79. For an account of that attack see "'Israeli' Missile Sinks Ship," Israeli 
Foreign Affairs, July 1986. 

80. Richard Hall, "Angola worried by Israelis next door," Observer, 
January 23, 1983. 

81. Alan Ben- Ami, "U.S., Israel involved in Angolan arms affair, too," 
Jerusalem Post, December 19, 1986. 

82. Hall, "Angola worried by Israelis next door." 

83. James Brooke, "CIA said to Send Rebels in Angola Weapons via 

220 Footnotes to pages 59-62 

Zaire," New York Times, February 1, 1987. 

84. EFE (Spanish News Agency, Madrid), 1300 GMT, January 16, 1983 
in FBIS Middle East and Africa, January 19, 1983, p. 1-5. 

85. Eliezer Strauch, "Israel Seeks Contact with Former Portuguese 
Colonies in Lisbon," Espresso (Lisbon), February 16,1 985, JPRS SubSaharan 
Africa, March 29, 1985. 

86. Quoted in West Africa, November 12, 1984. 

87. Jonathan Bloch, "Israel's new openings in Africa," The Middle East, 
January 1985 and author's confidential sources. 

88. Kinshasa Domestic Service, 1130 GMT, February 10, 1984, citing 
Jornalde Angola, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, February 13, 1984, p. S-2. 

89. "Israelis 'aiding MNR rebels,'" Africa Analysis (London), November 
28, 1986. 

90. The Independent (London), November 29, 1986. For an excellent 
analysis of Israel's activities in Africa see Bloch, "Israel's new openings in 

91. Gerald Nadler, "4 Nations Plan Swap of Political Prisoners," Miami 
Herald, February 26, 1978; author's source. 

92. "Released Israeli tells of interrogation in Mozambique," /?r«M/ew Post, 
February 21, 1983. 


1 . Yosef I. Abramowitz, Jews, Zionism & South Africa, B'nai B'rith Hillel 
Foundations, no date, p. 1 7, which equivocates: "even if the IMF statistics do 
not tell the whole story, as some people maintain, Israel's trade would still be 
marginal compared to the major industrialized Western countries." The only 
other significant commodity of trade between Israel and South Africa is the 
indirect purchase of diamonds through London." This work denies Israeli arms 
sales to South Africa and carries an apology wrested from Sen. William 
Proxmire, (D-WI) who had read some figures about that arms trade from the 
work of Aaron Klieman. See Israeli Foreign Affairs, May 1985. 

2. Financial Mail (Johannesburg), September 14, 1979, in "Policies of 
Apartheid," p. 5; this estimation has since been repeated by Adams and others. 

3. The figure given for the 11 months ending in November 1986 was 
$1.56 billion. Simon Louisson, "Diamond industry sees downturn ahead," 
Jerusalem Post, January 9, 1987. 

4. Ibid. 

5. Originally noted in "For Love and Money," its existence was verified 
by reporter Jeffrey Blankfort in April 1986 

6. Barry Sergeant, "Embattled Israel draws SA investors," Sunday Times, 
Business Times, September 9, 1984. 

7. Avi Temkin, "Israel Seeking Increased South African Aid," Jerusalem 

Footnotes to pages 62-65 221 

Post, February 4, 1 983 in FIBS Middle East and Africa, February 4, 1983, p. 

8. Michael Yudelman, "Who buys what from whom," Jerusalem Post, ]u\y 
11, 1986. 

9. Sergeant, "Embattled Israel draws SA investors;" "Israel and S. Africa 
tighten trade ties," Financial Times, December 15, 1980; Chazan, "Israeli 
Foreign Policy Towards South Africa;" Malcolm Fothergill, "Aid reform 
plans, urges Hersov," The Star (Johannesburg), November 21, 1983. 

10. Ethan Nadelman, "Israel and Black Africa: a rapprochement.'" /sz^fM/ 
of Modern African Studies, No. 19, 1981, p. 191 in Chazan, "Israeli Foreign 
Policy Towards South Africa." 

11. These are detailed in Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy Towards South 
Africa, fn 39. 

12. Yitzhak Rabi, "Free Trade Area agreement boosts Israeli trade to the 
U.S.," JTA in Northern California Jewish Bulletin, December 26, 1986. 

13. "For love and money," p. 41. 

14. Friedman, "Israelis Reassess Selling Arms to South Africa." 

15. "For love and money," p. 41. 

16. "Israel and S. Africa tighten trade ties." 

17. "For love and money," p. 41. 

18. Ha'aretz (Tel Aviv), August 18, 1982 in in FBIS Middle East and 
Africa, August 20, 1982, p. I-l 1. 

19. Ibid.; Chazan, "Israeli Foreign Policy Towards South Africa;" Raz, 
"Africa-Israel, Ltd..." 

20. "For Love and Money..." 

21. "For Love and Money;" Adams, The Unnatural Alliance, p. 26. Under 
both EEC (European Economic Community) and U.S. rules a minimum 
amount of value added must be added to products for reexport. Enforcement 
takes the form of a complaint by an injured competitor to trade authorities 
and/or the civil courts. 

22. Zoram Shapiro, A Study of Some of the Factors Influencing the Use of 
Israel as a Springboard for South African Exports (Unpublished MBA thesis), 
University of Cape Town, 1979, p. 142. 

23. Israel supplement to Financial Mail, September 14, 1979, in "Policies of 
Apartheid..." p. 7. 

24. Temkin, "Israel Seeking Increased South African Aid." 

25. Ainslee, Israel and South Africa..., p. 22. 

26. The Star (Johannesburg), April 19, 1980, Ibid., p. 23. 

27. Shapiro, op. cit., p. 18. 

28. Ainslee, Israel and South Africa..., p. 22 

29. Financial Mail, September 14, 1979, Ibid., p. 19; Shapiro, op. cit., pp. 

30. Dan Fisher, "Israel Needs Time on S. Africa," Los Angeles Times, 
February 21, 1987. 

31. Ha'aretz, December 31, 1981 (sic, probably 1980) in Israeli Mirror, 
February 2, 1981. 

222 Footnotes to pages 65-67 

32. According to Dr. Israel Shahak the kibbutzim are quite deeply 
involved with South Africa (correspondence with author). 

33. "U.S.-Israeli Trade Pact Benefits SA Exporters," Business Day 
(Johannesburg), September 23, 1985 in JPRS SubSaharan Africa, November 
7, 1985. 

34. "Exports to Israel," South African Digest, November 29, 1985. 

35. BBC World Service, 0503 and 0603 GMT, November 4, 1985, 
relayed on KXLR-AM, San Francisco. 

36. Business Day, ]une. 3, 1985. 

37. The Star, December 19, 1985 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 
December 20, 1 985, p. U-4. The decline of the rand after Western banks refused 
to roll over South Africa's loans also played a part in this surge. 

38. JohnTilston, "SA exports R 1,3 bn up in first 2 months," Business Day, 
April 16, 1986. 

39. Jerusalem Post, June 8, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, June 1 1 , 
1986, p. 1-4. 

40. The South African bureau of trade and industry urged censorship of 
trade statistics, which "could easily be used by our adversaries..." (Johannes- 
burg SAP A, 1650 GMT, August 6, 1986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 
August 7, 1986, p. U-4). 

41. "Liat: Israeli-South African Firm Moves in on Sierra Leone," Israeli 
Foreign Affairs, Feb. 1987. 

42. Julie Fredericks, Morning Edition, National Public Radio (NPR), 
April 3, 1985; also, "Is There Life After Sanctions," £««o/wwf, July 26, 1986. 

43. Peter Allen-Frost, "SA aid in Israeli rail line possible," The Star, July 
12, 1984. 

44. Slomo Avineri, "A timely delay," Jerusalem Post, Nov. 12, 1985. 

45. "Sanctions busting SA-style," Keutei, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 10, 1986. 

46. "Advert by 'Israel firm' offers to bust sanctions," [bid.,Nov. 1 7, 1 986. 

47. Roy Isacowitz, "Embassy closure upgrades image," Ibid., June 17, 

48. IDF Radio, 1400 GMT, June 16, 1986, in FBIS Middle East and 

49. Andrew Whitley, "Israeli delegation set for trade talks with S. Africa," 
Financial Times, Aug. 6, 1986. 

50. Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 1986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, Aug. 8, 
1986, p. 1-3. 

51. All Things Considered, NPR, Aug. 13, 1986. 

52. Whitley, see note 49; reference to increased trade in a Reuters report 
cited by Washington Jewish Week, "Israel Talks Trade with South Africa," 
Aug. 28, 1986. 

53. All Things Considered,NPR, Aug. 13, 1986; also typical was the BBC 
"Newsreel" report broadcast several times on Aug. 13-14, 1986. 

54. Reuters, "Pretoria holds talks to increase trade ties with Israel," 
Jerusalem Post, Aug. 14, 1986. 

55. Avi Temkin, "S. Africa investments deal renewed," Ibid., Aug. 18, 

Footnotes to pages 67-69 223 


56. See, for instance, David Landau, "Towards a science-based economy," 
Jerusalem Post, Independence Day Supplement, April 24, 1985, typical of a 
spate of articles (which have not yet produced the desired trend). 

57. U.S. Assistance to the State of Israel, GAO Uncensored Draft Repezt^ 
American- Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Washington DC, 1983, p. 
55. "Mexico Deal," Israeli Foreign Affairs, September 1985. Israel currently 
obtains most of its oil from Mexico. 

58. Quentin Peel, "Israel and S. Africa in Major Coal Deal," Financial 
Times, Jin. 16, 1979. 

59. "The Israeli Connection," op. cit. 

60. "Israel Moves Toward More Coal Use," Journal of Commerce, Feb. 12, 

61. Ha'aretz, June 20, 1984, in Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, pp. 152, 

62. Avraham Dishon, "Israeli investors set up industries in South Africa, 
Yediot Ahronot, June 21, 1984, trans. Israel Shahak, Collection: Israel and South 
Africa, summer 1984. 

63. UPI in San Francisco Examiner, Aug. 20, 1985. 

64. Michael Parks, "Under Threat of Sanctions, S. Africa Prepares for 
Siege," Los Angeles Times, Sept. 15,1986 lists this eventuality among a number 
of other medium-term consequences of sanctions. 

65. Macabee Dean, "South African blacks and whites all in the same boat," 
Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24, 1985. 

66. Johannesburg Domestic Service, 1700 GMT, March 3, 1983, in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, March 4, 1983, p. U-4. 

67. Computer Mail, supplement to Financial Mail, Jznmiy 31, 1986. 

68. "Closer Scientific Ties with South Africa Planned," Ha'aretz, April 26, 

1984, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, April 26, 1984, p. 1-5. 

69. Yossi Melman, "Secret S. African-Israeli Pact," fane's Defence Weekly, 
Feb. 23, 1985. AquvaEldar, "Cooperation Agreement Reported Signed with 
Sout Africa," Ha'aretz,Feh. 14, 1985, FBIS Middle East and Africa, Feb. 15, 

1985, p. 1-4. 

70. Whitley, "Israeli delegation set for trade talks with S. Africa." 

71. "Closer Scientific Ties with South Africa Planned." 

72. "Technion 'no' to spending cut," Jerusalem Post International Edition, 
July 2-8, 1984. 

73. Jean-Pierre Langellier, "La visite du chef de la diplomatie sudafricaine 
illustre les relations etroite entre les deux pays," Le Monde, Nov. 6, 1984. 

74. Advertisement for Afitra, in Supplement to Financial Mail, op. cit., p. 35. 

75. "For love and money," p. 42. 

224 Footnotes to pages 71-73 


1. New African (London), in Africa Diary, May 21-27, 1982. 

2. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 0500 GMT, March 4, 1983 in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, March 10, 1983, p. 1-6. 

3. Roy Isacowitz, "Aridor involvement in Ciskei 'likely to harm Israel,'" 
Jerusalem Post, June 20, 1984. 

4. The Sowetan, March 10, 1983; Johannesburg Radio, and Israeli Radio 
for March 4, 1983, in SWB / Monitoring Report ME7274/ii, March 5, 1983. 

5. The same sources as footnote 4, above, but cited by Africa Report, 
May-June, 1983. 

6. Elazar Levin, "Foreign Investments/Awakening Africa. Ciskei— 
Another Israeli Speculation," Koteret Rashit, February 13, 1985, translated by 
Dr. Israel Shahak, Collection: Israel and South Africa. 

7. Keesings Volume XXX, February 1984, p. 32661. 

8. Roy Isacowitz, "Government leery of MKs' Ciskei Jaunt," /^raM/m 
Post, April 7, 1985. 

9. Akiva Eldar, "Milo's law office deals with a Ciskei representative," 
Ha'aretz, June 29, 1984, in Shahak, Collection: Israel and South Africa, op. cit. 
Isacowitz, "Government leery of MKs' Ciskei Jaunt." 

10. Isacowitz, "Government leery of MKs' Ciskei Jaunt." 

1 1 . Joshua Brilliant, "Ciskei president at West Bank twinning," Jerusalem 
Post International Edition, Week ending November 10, 1984; Levin, "Foreign 
Investments/ Awakening Africa." 

12. Hyam Corney, "SA upset by Israel ties with black homelands," 
Jerusalem Post, July 2, 1984. 

13. Levin, "Foreign Investments/Awakening Africa." 

14. Roy hicowitz, Jerusalem Post, August 11, 1985. 

15. Roy Isacowitz, "Israelis linked to Ciskei corruption," Jerusalem Post, 
July 31, 1985. 


1 7. Ibid.; Roy Isacowitz, "Ciskeian legal team was in Israel to investigate 
corruption charges," Jerusalem Post, August 1, 1985. 

18. Isacowitz, "Israelis linked to Ciskei corruption." 

19. Isacowitz, "Aridor involvement in Ciskei 'likely to harm Israel'"; The 
Argus , September 8, 1983, from ANC Briefing. 

20. Isacowitz, "Israelis linked to Ciskei corruption." 

2 1 . Isacowitz, "Ciskeian legal team was in Israel to investigate corruption 

22. Isacowitz, "Israelis linked to Ciskei corruption." 

23. Davar, August 19, 1984, in FBIS Middle East & Africa, August 21, 
1984, p. I- 16; also Keesings, op. cit. which says thebantustan "defense minister" 
confirmed the purchase of aircraft. 

24. Sunday Times of London cited in "Pretoria upset by Israel ties with 
black homelands," Jerusalem Post International Edition, July 8-14, 1984. 

Footnotes to pages 73-76 225 

25. Ibid. 

26. Private Eye, No. 640, June 27, 1986. 

27 . Rand Daily Mail,December 15, 1981, in Adams, Unnatural Alliance, p. 


28. Barry Streek, "Israel woos SA homelands," Guardian (London), 
October 15, 1983. 

29. Sowetan, June 22, m'i, ANC Briefing. \, 

30. "South African Homeland Opens an Office in Israel," Reuters, New\ 
York Times, June 5, 1985. 

31. AP, in Washington Times, August 29, 1985. 

32. Keesing's, op. cit. 

33. ITIM (Tel Aviv), 1950 GMT, October 30, 1984, in FBIS Middle 
East & Africa, October 31, 1984, p. 1-6. 

34. Earlier a PFP spokesman had noted that the "Indaba," or gathering, at 
which the plan had been drawn up, had been touted by South Africa's 
ambassadors as proof of liberalization — ^Johannesburg SAP A, 0913 GMT, 
November 18, 1986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, November 20, 1986, p. 
U-10. For background on Buthelezi and a full discussion of his dealings with 
Israel see Jane Hunter, "Israel and the Bantustans," Journal of Palestine Studies, 
Spring 1986. 

35. "Survey South Africa," Economist, September 19, 1981. 

36. Michel Bole-Richard, "L'autre facon de combattre apartheid," Le 
Monde, }u\y 10, 1986. 

37. Christine Abdelkrim, "Pretoria: le montage Buthelezi," Afrique-Asie, 
No. 358, October 7, 1985. 

38. SAPA, 1139 GMT, June 26, 1 986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, 
June 26, 1986, p. U-4. 

39. "South Africa Waives Ban to Let Moderate Zulu Chief Hold Rally," 
New York Times, }une 30, 1986. 

40. SAPA 1 505 and 1 73 3 GMT, December 6, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East 
and Africa, December 8, 1986, p. U-10. 

4 1 .Alan Co well, "Violence Erupts at Black's Rites in a 'Homeland,'" and 
"Violence and Apartheid," New York Times, August 15, 1985 and August 12, 
1985 respectively. 

42. Wolf Blitzer, "Unclear on Apartheid," Jerusalem Post, August 10, 
1985. During the same period South Africa was sending emissaries to the U.S. 
Jewish community, reminding them of South Africa's exceptional support for 
the Jewish state and urging them to "rethink traditional attitudes" — Sanford 
Ungar, "South Africa's Lobbyists," New York Times Magazine, October 13, 

43. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1600 GMT, August 5, 1985, in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, August 6, 1985, p. I-l; "Peres: Israel totally rejects 
apartheid," Jerusalem Post, August 6, 1985. 

44. DanielJ. Elazar, "Ideas forPrctom," Jerusalem Post, August 16, 1985. 

45. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 0700 GMT, August 11, 1985, in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, August 13, 1985, p. 1-7. 

226 f ootnotes to pages 77-79 

46. Roy Isacowitz and David Richardson, "More help to South Africa's 
blacks likely after Zulu chief's visit," Jerusalem Post, August 15,1985; Thomas 
Friedman, "Zulu Leader Sets Primary Demands," New York Times, August 
14, 1985. 

47. David Richardson and Roy Isacowitz, "Focus" (Interview with 
Buthelezi), Jerusalem Post, August 16, 1985. 

48. Isacowitz and Richardson, "More help to South Africa's blacks..." 

49. Isacowitz and Richardson, "Israelis to study aid projects for Zulus," 
Jerusalem Post, August 23, 1985. 

50. Isacowitz and Richardson, "More help to South Africa's blacks likely 
after Zulu chief's visit." 

51. Abdelkrim, "Pretoria: le montage Buthelezi." 

52. "Focus on Africa," BBC World Service, 1515 GMT, March 19, 1986, 
in FBIS Middle East and Africa, March 26, 1986, p. U-7. 

51 . Israel Magazine,he^rd kugusx 18, 1985 on KQED-FM,San Francisco. 

54. Near East Report, August 19, 1985. 

55. This is used repeatedly in handouts distributed by pro-Israeli activists 
and appears in Yosef I. Abramowitz,/^w^, Zionism & South Africa, B'nai B'rith 
Hillel Foundations, Washington DC, no date, but first appeared in summer 
1 985, p. 17. This book defines its task as "expos[ing] the inappropriateness and 
destructive nature of anti-Zionism and in particular, its irrelevance to the 
anti-apartheid movement," p. 6. 

56. The Israeli mission to the UN was first to report and shrilly protest the 
meeting. Its source, according to news accounts at the time, was intelligence 
provided by Mossad (Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, Lawrence Hill & 
Company, Westport, CT, 1985, p. 148, based in part on an interview with 
Young; and Robert G. Weisbord and Richard Kazarian, Jr., Israel in the Black 
American Perspective, pp. 121-133, who argue against this construction, but 
end up giving it even more credence). 

57. Charley Levine, "South African Zulu Chief is Ardent Supporter of 
Israel," JTA, in Washington Jewish Week, July 10, 1986. Buthelezi also 
confided that some of his best white friends were Jewish. The entire piece has a 
whiff of South African money: for one thing, KwaZulu is treated by Levine as a 
legitimate entity, never identified as a bantustan (although JTA datelines it 
"Ulundi, Kwazulu (sic) South Africa"). Levine is identified as a "public affairs 
analyst and journalist based in Jerusalem." 

58. Ibid. 

59. N. Perlmutter and D. Evanier, "The African National Congress, A 
Closer Look," ADL Bulletin, May 1986. Perlmutter is the National Director of 
the organization. The article contained such earthshaking revelations as: 
"Sechaba, the ANC magazine, is printed in Communist East Germany"; and 
"In 1982, seven members of the ANC national executive committee were 
identified in sworn testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Security 
and Terrorism as SACP [South Africa Communist Party] members. The 
30-member national executive committee now has 1 2 to 1 5 members said to be 
affiliated with SACP." Sen. Denton, whose committee elicited that exciting 

F'ootnotes to pages 79-84 227 

testimony, was apparently too far to the right even for the good citizens of 
Alabama, and he was defeated in the 1986 elections. 

60. Ibid. 

61. See also Jane Hunter, "Attempts to Defame the ANC," Israeli Foreig n 
.j^anr, September 1986, from which this section was adapted. '~ " 

6i. Washington Times, ]une 18, 1986. 

63. Charley Levine, "Arab Terrorists Aid South African Groups," 
Washington Jewish Week, July 10, 1986. In dwelling on the connections 
between the ANC and the South African Communist Patty, Levine seems to be 
transfixed by the role of Joe Slo vo, the white Jewish chairmahof the SACP, and 
also commander of Umkhonto We Sizwe, the ANC's military wirjg. 

Political and Cultural Ties 

1. Tom Tugend, "Centre forward," Jerusalem Post, April 18, 1986. 

2. Author's investigation. 

3. Tugend, "Centre forward." 

4. Roy Isacowitz, "S. Africa blacks want ties with groups here," Jerusalem 
Post, July 26, 1985. 

5. Tugend, "Centre forward." 

6. Dan Fisher, "S. African Blacks See Israel Traming as Aid for Future," 
Los Angeles Times, April 8, 1986. 

7. Jonathan Broder, "Israelis investing in South Africa's future," Chicago 
Tribune, March 16, 1986. 

8. Tugend, "Centre forward." 

9. William Claiborne, "Black S. Africans Train in Israel," Washington Post 
April 8, 1986. 

10. Hugh Orgel, "Histadrut Seeking Links with South African Black 
Unionists," JTA January 22, 1986. 

11. Interview with aide to Tom Hayden. 

12. Tugend, "Centre Forward." 

1 3 . "Hayden reveals his CIA role during Vietnam War," AP, San Francisco 
Examiner, June 21, 1986. 

14. Jon Wiener, "Tom Hayden's New Workout," The Nation, November 
29, 1986. 

15. Claiborne, "Black S. Africans Train in Israel." 

16. Gideon Remez, "Pressure Mounts in Israel to Dissociate from South 
Africa," Washington /^ww/z Week, }u\y 10, 1986. 

1 7. Policies of Apartheid of the Government of South Africa, Special Report of 
the Special Committee against Apartheid on Recent Developments in the Relations 
between Israel and South Africa, General Assembly Thirty-fourth session 
Agenda item 28, 79-28658, November 2, 1979. 

18. "Suspension tactique des rencontres sportives," Yediot Aharonot, 

228 Footnotes to pages 84-87 

January 22, 1979 (French translation of unknown origin); Jersualem Post, 
January 23 & 24, 1 979 in Policies of Apartheid of the Government of South Africa, 
p. 8. 

19. Jerusalem Radio, January 30, 1979 in Policies of Apartheid of the 
Government of South Africa. 

20. Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1986. 

2 1 . Jack Leon, "S. Africa may be kept out of Maccabiah," Jerusalem Post, 
June 9, 1985. 

22. Ibid. 

23. Jack Leon, "S. Africa Maccabiah visa ruse.'" Jerusalem Post, July 17, 

24. Jack Leon, "Facing up to the Maccabiah problems," Jerusalem Post, 
July 12, 1985 and letter to the Jerusalem Post from Hanna Foighel, whose 
information on the 1 984 meeting came from members of the Danish Maccabiah 
team, August 25, 1985. 

25. Jack Leon, "Israel's top 3 to play in South African Open," Jerusalem 
Post, November 13, 1986. 

26. "Shadow on Amos' gloiy," Jerusalem Post, November26, 1986. When 
interviewed by South African television — a most important part of the exercise 
is for the South Africans to demonstrate for the home and overseas audiences 
that foreign athletes are not only willing to play in South Africa, but enjoy 
it — Mansdorf disingenuously noted that "The crowd is very fair, they are not 
influenced by partiality to local players." Dudley Kessel, "Amos marches to 
S.A. iiml," Jerusalem Post, November 23, 1986. 

2 7. "Shadow on Amos' glory," a comment which ends by suggesting that 
the tennis players could make things right by "assert[ing] their loathing of 

28. Jack Leon and Benny Morris, "Israeli tennis players did not break 
rules," Jerusalem Post, November 26, 1986. 

29. Jerusalem Post, November 26, 1986. 

30. Register of Entertainers, Actors and others who have performed in 
Apartheid South Africa, UN Centre Against Apartheid Notes and Documents, 
86-11227, April 1986. 

3 1 . The Star (Johannesburg, weekly airmail ed.), April 8, 1 985 in Recent 
Developments Concerning Relations between Israel and South Africa, Special Report 
of the Special Committee Against Apartheid, General Assembly, Fortieth Session, 
85-28121 1609n (E), October 14, 1985, p. 11. 

3 2 . Haaretz, July 6, 1 986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, July 7, 1 986, p. 


}}. Israel Magazine,he2.rd August 17, 1986onKQED-FM,San Francisco. 

34. The Star (Johannesburg), September 19, 1984, Recent developments 
concerning relations between Israel and South Africa, . 

35. Interview with Barry Streek, April, 1986. 

36. Michal Yudelman, "Travel in a Troubled Paradise," Jerusalem Post, 
December 2, 1985, Supplement on South African Tourism. 

37. Haim Shapiro, "Israelis visit South Africa as others begin to shun it," 

Footnotes to pages 87-89 229 

Jerusalem Post, October 29, 1985. 

38. The Star, May 20, 1986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, May 22, 
1986, p. U-12. 

39. Jerusalem Post, September 24, 1986, October 17, 1986. 

40. Ha'aretz, October 1 6, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East and Africa, October 
technology to South Africa is being violated." 

who actually decide to take up residence in Israel have lately been very small. 

40. Jerusalem Post, September 24, 1986, October 17, 1986. 

41 . Alex Berlyne, the author of these pieces, tried to use a zippy style and 
convey a sense of good fun, but his credentials as a judge of "reform" in South 
Africa are a bit shaky, as he could not resist throwing in such material as this 
limerick: "His daughter's name is Wong Wong/ Arid she sure is yellow all 
right/ Her boyfriend belongs to the Royal Marines/ But two Wongs don't 
make a white." Of course \i was the "complexity" of the white government's 
problem with the black majority that Berlyne was supposed to explain awa^x 

42. "Israeli Left Attacks South Africa; Israeli Rightists Defend It," INB, 
Jewish Press, August 22, 1986. This, even though, according to the article, at 
least ten of the kibbutzim associated with Mapam had "active business links" 
with South Africa and the one kibbutz which in 1 986 decided to sever its links 
with the apartheid state required three meetings to arrive at a vote to stop 
shipping their machinery products to South Africa. 

43. "Israeli Left Attacks South Africa..." notes that one of the organizers 
of a demonstration outside a cabinet meeting on South Africa was Stanley 
Goldfoot. Goldfoot, originally from South Africa and jailed in connection with 
the 1 947 murder of Count Bernadotte, received money from the U.S. religious 
right on behalf of Jewish criminals plotting to blow up the Dome of the Rock in 
Jerusalem. The Lifta gang was rounded up by Israeli authorities prior to the 
deed and many members were jailed for earlier attacks on Palestinians. (Michael 
and Barbara Ledeen, "The Temple Mount Plot," The New Republic, June 1 8, 

44. JTA, November 15, 1985. The government actually did decide to 
delay dispatching its legate, but it was never clear whether the decision was 
prompted by the protests or the desire to keep a low profile until after that 
autumn's UN session on South Africa had been held. 

45. Jerusalem Post, December 8, 1985. 

46. Morning Edition, National Public Radio, January 13, 1986. 

47. Ma'ariv, October 2 1 , 1984 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, October 22, 
1984, p. L12. 

48. Roy Isacowitz, "Ministry to consider EEC decision on S.A. sanc- 
tions," Jerusalem Post, September 18, 1986. 

49. Section 508 (a) says "The President shall conduct a study on the extent 
to which the international embargo on the sale and exports of arms and military 
technology to South Africa is being violated. 

508 (b) says, "Not later than 1 79 days after the date of enactment of this 
Act, the President shall submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives 
and the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report 

230 Footnotes to pages 89-97 

setting forth the findings of the study required by subsection (a), including an 
identification of those countries engaged in such sale or export, with a view to 
terminating United States military assistance to those countries." The section 
was numbered 505 in earlier versions of the bill. 

50. Roy Isacowitz, "Why Israel is Unlikely to Opt for Sanctions," 
Jerusalem Post, ]u\y 11, 1986. 

5 1 . "Cameroon Renews Diplomatic Ties," Israeli Foreign Affairs, October 

52. Ha'aretz, August 28, 1986, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, August 
29, 1986,p. I-l. 

53. Isacowitz, "Ministry to consider EEC decision on S.A. sanctions." 

54. Roy Isacowitz, "What's good for the Jews of South Ainca}" Jerusalem 
Post, November 22, 1986. 

55. Shlomo Avineri, "South Africa, a Zionist emergency," Jerusalem Post, 
February 2, 1986. 

56. "No wish to join sanctions on SA," Jerusalem Post, February 4, 1987. 

57. Hauser, "Israel, South Africa and the West." 

58. "Israel Moves to Block Congress, Save South African Arms Sales," 
Israeli Foreign Affairs, April 1987. 

Part II: Israel & Central America 
El Salvador 

1 . "Dear Colleague" letter circulated with the draft legislation, HR 5424, 
June 1984. 

2. Testimony of Jeffrey A. James, adjunct professor at American 
University, before House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee 
Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, on HR5424, June 7, 1984 
(typed copy). James also said: "Israel has made great strides since 1948 to give 
her considerable credibility as a developmental role model and as a donor of 
technical assistance. The communial [sic] organizational structures and idealogy 
[sic] have seemed particularly appropriate for the Third World nations also 
preemenently [sic] concerned with nation building through consensus politics." 

It did not occur to James to mention that, in most countries where Israel 
works, the consensus is between the forces of reaction there and in the U.S., and 
most often the military. 

3. Jewish Telegraphic Agency, November 29, 1985. Contrary to the 
original rationale for CDR, with the exception of Ghana, all the projects were in 
nations with longstanding ties with Israel. 

4. "Development Aid to Central America," Israeli Foreign Affairs, June 
1986. This article is based on contracts and other U.S. AID documents relating 
to the three projects. 

5. Inter-Hemispheric Resource Center Bulletin, (Box 4506 Albuquerque, 
NM 87196), no date— received May 1986; and Sara Miles, "The Real War, 

Footnotes to pages 97-99 231 

Low-Intensity Conflict in Central America," NACLA Report on the Americas, 
April-May 1986. Both outline the Reagan Administration's attempts to 
translate into military technique its vicious fantasies of reversing liberation 

6. "Development Aid in Central America." 

7. Ignacio Klich, "Israel Arms the Dictators," drawing on information 
from Jane's Fighting Ships, SIPRI Yearbooks and Strategy Week in Middle East 
International, December 23, 1982; Penny Lernoux, "Who's Who of Dictators 
Obtain Arms from Israel," National Catholic Reporter, December 25, 1981. 

8. Edy Kaufman, Yoram Shapira, and Joel Barromi, Israel-Latin American 
Relations, Transaction, New Brunswick, NJ, 1979, p. 105. 

9. Interview with Guerra y Guerra, February 1983. Guerra was one of the 
reformist "young officers" who overthrew President Romero in 1979 and 
were driven out in their turn in 1980 by more conservative (U.S.-backed) 
military officers. 

10. Chris Hedges, "Salvadoran colonel who mutinied is back in war," 
Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 1984. 

11. Julia Preston, "Ochoa, A Good Fighter but Too Independent for 
Salvador Army?" Christian Science Monitor, Jinmty 13, 1983. For a full profile 
of this hard-line officer see, "Israel's Salvadoran Protege," Israeli Foreign 
Affairs, April 1985. 

1 2 . This premise already had the support of Congress, which in 1976 had 
passed legislation linking U.S. aid to human rights practices (Journal of 
Commerce, March 18, 1977). In actual practice during the Carter Administra- 
tion, the aid going to big violators, e.g. South Korea and the Philippines, was 
not cut off because they were strategically important. Only Argentina, Chile, 
Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala were affected by the policy. 

13. Department of Defense figures show that between 1950 and 1980, 
2097 Salvadorans, 3334 Guatemalans, 3834 Hondurans and 5679 Nicaraguans 
had participated in U.S. IMET (International Military Education and Train- 
ing) training programs, DOD Foreign Military Sales and Military Assistance 
Facts, December 1980 in Arnon Hadar, TheAJnited States and El Salvador: 
Political and Military Involvement, U.S. -El ^Ivador Research & Information 
Center, Berkeley, CA, 1 98 1 , p. 1 26. / 

14. Tom Barry, Beth Wood, and Deb Preusch, Dollars and Dictators, Grove 
Press, 1983, is an excellent examination of the interplay between U.S. 
government and U.S. corporate inflvience on Central America. 

15. Hadar, The United States and El Salvador, p. 20. 

16. Alan Nairn, "Behind the Peath Squads," Progressive, May 1984. 

17. Carolyn Forche and Philip Wheaton, "History and Motivations of 
U.S. Involvement in the Control of the Peasant Movement in El Salvador: The 
Role of AIFLD in the Agrarian Reform Process, 1970-80," in James 
Dunkerley, The Long War, Dictatorship & Revolution in El Salvador, Verso, 
London, 1982 (reprinted 1983), p. 98. 

1 8. "El Salvador Rejects U.S. Arms Aid," AP, Washington Post, March 1 9, 

232 Footnotes to pages 99- 1 02 

19. Dunkerly, The Long War, pp. 1 10-1 1 1. 

20. Hadar, The United States and El Salvador, Appendix 13, p. 127. 

21. In the shadowy world of arms sales it is very difficult to track the 
smaller items, which are not as carefully tracked as the "big ticket" items by 
such organizations as SIPRI; thus the sources for the small items in the 
accompanying chart are more anecdotal. 

22. "Leftist Says Salvadoran Troops Are Being Trained by the Israelis," 
Reuters, New York Times, October 10, 1979. 

23. Interview with Guerra, February 1983. 

24. Interview with Ramos, January 1983. 

25. Hadar, The United States and El Salvador, Dunkerly, The Long War, 
passim. Guerra y Guerra relates that Carter Ambassador Frank Devine actively 
worked to bring out of the first 1979 junta the exceedingly conservative and 
brutal 1980 government controlled by Col.'s Garcia and Gutierrez, which, in 
its ultimate version, was fronted by Jose Napoleon Duarte. 

26. International Herald Tribune, December 31, 1979, in Ignacio Khch, 
"Les choix de Jerusalem en Amerique centrale," Le Monde Diplomatique, 
October 1982. 

27. Jeffrey Heller, "Salvadoran guerrilla denies attacks on Israeli Targets," 
Jerusalem Post, May 13, 1982. It would not be surprising if one of the guerrilla 
groups had carried out the bombing. However, several journahsts have spoken 
to this author about the deep and abiding anti-Semitism of the Salvadoran 
officer corps. 

28. This Week in Central America and Panama, February 25, 1980. 

29. Dunkerley, The Long War, passim. 

30. Karen DeYoung, "State's Latin Bureau Urges Resumption of Arms 
Aid to Salvador," Washington Post, January 10, 1981. 

31. Karen DeYoung, "Carter Decides to Resume Military Aid to El 
Salvador," Ibid., January 14, 1981 . The Salvadoran far right began a reign of 
terror coinciding with the election of Ronald Reagan, an attempt, thought 
some, to establish "facts" that Reagan would be most likely to support. 

32. Dawr, January 3, 1982, translator unknown. According to the article, 
Israel's economic attache in Washington, Danny Halperin confirmed the 

33. Latin America Weekly Report, December 17, 1982. 

34. SIPRI Yearbook 1982, p. 213 in Bishara Bahbah, Israel and Latin 
America, The Military Connection, St. Martin's Press (New York) and Institute 
for Palestine Studies (Washington), 1986, p. 79. 

35. "Napalm: Made in Israel, Used in El Salvador," Israeli Foreign Affairs, 
December 1984. The need for napalm was supposedly obviated when the 
Salvadoran government began bombing and strafing the civilian population 
from A-37 aircraft obtained from the U.S. 

36. Heller, "Salvadoran guerrilla denies..." and "Salvadoran envoy blasts 
MKs' talks with 'terrorist,'" Jerusalem Post, May 14, 1982. 

37. "Latin America's relations with Israel and the Arab World," Special 
Report, Latin American Newsletters, November 1985. 

Footnotes to pages 1 02 - 1 05 233 

38. Ha'aretz, November 12, 1981, in Klich, "Les Choix de Jerusalem ..." 

39. Bahbah, Israel and Latin America, p. 152, was given this estimate in 
1982 by a PLO representative and told by the international relations 
department of the FMLN in Managua that same year that Israeli advisers were 
involved with the Salvadoran intelligence services. In late 1982 Arnaldo 
Ramos, U.S. representative of the FDR, gave the author those same numbers 
and said that many Israelis were working on a secret military base near San 

40. Davar, May 3 , 1 984, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, May 4, 1 984, p. 


41 . Juan O. Tamayo, "Want to buy a fully trained SWAT team?" Miami 
Herald, September 4,1986. This article is datelined Jerusalem and so must have 
been passed by the Israeli censors. 

42 . "El Salvador returns embassy to Jerusalem," /^r«ra/«w2 Post International 
Edition, April 22, 1984. 

43. Radio Venceremos, 0000 GMT, April 25, 1984 m FBIS Latm 
America, April 26, 1984, p. P-9. 

44. "U.S. Denies Latin Aid Role for Israel," AP, New York Times, April 
22, 1984. 

45. "Salvadorans Talk of More Israeli Aid," AP, New York Times, April 

46. ACAN, Panama City, 2228 GMT, April 23, 1984, in FBIS Latm 
America, April 24, 1984, pp. P-1,2. 

47. Reuters, New York Times, April 21, 1984; ironically, the rupture hit 
Costa Rica harder than El Salvador, which did not have much of an 
international reputation to lose. 

48. Doyle McManus, "Demos vying hard to lure wary Jewish voters," Los 
Angeles Times, April 2, 1984 in San Francisco Chronicle. 

49. "Egypt Warns U.S. on Moving Israel Embassy," UPI, San Francisco 
Chronicle, May 2, 1984. 

50. "Israel Dara Mayor Respaldo en Armamentos," Excelsior (Mexico 
City), April 21, 1984. 

51. Teodoro Ducach, "Busca el Gobierno Salvadoreno la Asistencia de 
Militares Israelies," Excelsior, August 4, 1983. 

52. Edward Cody, "El Salvador, Israel Set Closer Ties," Washington Post, 
August 17, 1983. 

53. Ducach, "Busca el Gobierno Salvadoreno ..." 

54. Arthur Allen, "Say Israel, El Salvador to Strengthen Ties," AP, 0642, 
August 17,1983. Prior to the agreement, El Salvador had voted with the vast 
majority of UN members in support of the PLO. 

55. Cody, "El Salvador, Israel Set Closer Ties." 

56. Author's confidentia' sources. 

57. Allen, "Say Israel, El Salvador to Strengthen Ties." 

58. See Edward S. Herman and Frank Brodhead, Demonstration Elections, 
South End Press, Boston, 1984. In the Reagan lexicon the term "democratic 
elections" covers a vast galaxy of fraud and venality,, whereas the 1 984 elections 

234 Footnotes to pages 105-108 

in Nicaragua have been dismissed (only by the Reagan Administration) as 
phony and fraudulent. 

59. Craig Pyes, "Salvadoran Rightists: The Deadly Patriots," Albuquerque 
Journal, December 18, 1 983. This was the first ofa series of articles that ran until 
December 22. 

60. "Si hay golpe en El Salvador, se retirara toda ayuda belica de EU," El 
Dia (Mexico City), April 5, 1984. 

61. Robert Leikin, "Ochoa's gambit," Miami Herald, January 16, 1983. 

62 . Joanne Omang, "CIA admits funding Salvadoran elections," Washing- 
ton Post, May 1 1 , 1 984 in Oakland Tribune. The CIA also pumped some money 
into Jose Guerrero's Conciliation Party, which proceeded to surprise observers 
by staying neutral, rather than throwing its support to D'Aubuisson. 

63. San Salvador Radio Cadena YSKL, 0025 GMT, June 4, 1 984 in FBIS 
Latin America, June 5, 1984, p. P-4. 

64. "U.S. Officials Cheered by Salvador Arms Aid," New York Times 
August 13, 1984. 

65. In 1985 Duarte himself told Reuters that he was indeed interested in 
having Israel provide military training to the Salvadoran forces. 

66. Robert Block, "Israel to Aid El Salvador in Areas tied to Counterin- 
surgency," Reuters North European Service, February 22, 1986. 

67. Author's confidential sources. 

68. San Salvador Radio Cadena YSU, 1 200 GMT, May 2 1 , 1 985 in FBIS 
Latin America, May 23, 1985, pp. P-3-4. 

69. El Diario De Hoy (San Salvador), July 20, 1984, in FBIS Latin 
America, July 23, 1984, p. P-5. 

70. Enforprensa, May 17, 1985. 

71. Clifford Krauss and Tim Carrington, "U.S. Effort to Win 'Hearts and 
Minds' Gains in El Salvador," Wall Street Journal, September 8, 1986. 

72. Clifford Krauss, "Salvador Pacification Off to a Shaky Start," Wall 
Street Journal, ]\i\y 18, 1984. 

73. James LeMoyne, "Salvador Air Role in War Increases," New York 
Times, ]\i\y 18, 1985. 

74. Jeruslam Domestic Service, 1 1 00 GMT, April 1 3 , 1 984, in FBIS Latin 
America, April 13, 1984, p. 1-6. 

75. San Salvador, El Mundo, February 23, 1985 in FBIS Latin America, 
February 27, 1985, p. P-4. 

76. Dan Williams, "Comunidades Fortificadas del Proyecto Piloto de 
Achichilco," translated from the Los Angeles Times in Excelsior, February 8 

77. Chris Hedges, "Salvador plans to resettle 500,000 displaced persons," 
Christian Science Monitor, September 28, 1984. 

78. Williams, "Comunidades Fortificadas del Proyecto Piloto de Achi- 

79. Hedges, "Salvador plans to resettle 500,000 displaced persons." 

80. Williams, "Comunidades Fortificadas del Proyecto Piloto de Achi- 

Footnotes to pages 108-112 235 


81. Madrid, EFE0427 GMT, August 29, 1985, in FBIS Latin America, 
September 4, 1985. 

82. Williams, "Comunidades Fortificadas del Proyecto Piloto de Achi- 

83. Tamar Kaufman, "Salvadoran Jew to discuss U.S. policy in Latin 
America," Northern California Jewish Bulletin, September 12, 1986. 

84. Block, "Israel to Aid El Salvador." 

85. Ibid. The program would have to be propped up like Lazarus. 

86. "Asistencia Technologia de Israel a El Salvador," £/ Dia, July 3, 1 986, 
which cites Davar. 

87. James LeMoyne, "El Salvador's Refugees: The Many Peasants Who 
Get Caught," New York Times, July 1,1986. This unpleasant business has been 
going on for years. Dr. Charles Clements, who tended patients on Guazapa 
Volcano in 1982 and 1983, spoke frequendy on his return of military raids in 
which the army would take care to smash every dish a family owned. 

88. James LeMoyne, "Salvador War Recovery Plan is Announced by 
Army Chief," New York Times, July 30, 1986. 

89. Dunkerley, The Longest War, p. 29 and passim. 

90. Interview with Guerra y Guerra. 


1 . So vicious was the Guatemalan military in its anti-popular war that such 
stalwarts of the Reagan policy in Central America as Henry Kissinger, and 
Langhorne Motley and Thomas Enders, both formerly Assistant Secretary of 
State for Inter- American Affairs, noted its brutality and either affirmed or did 
not contest U.S. distance from Guatemala. Milton Jamail and Margo Gutierrez, 
It's No Secret: Israel's Military Involvement in Central America, AAUG Press, 
(556 Trapelo Rd., Belmont, MA 02178), 1986, p. 51. 

2. Allan Nairn, "Terror with a Human Face," Village Voice, November 5, 
1985. Other estimates run between 30,000 and 100,000. See also Marjorie 
Miller, "Indians' Culture Torn by Guatemalan Political Strife," Los Angeles 
Times November 29, 1985. 

3. Frank del Olmo, "In Guatemala, Fusiles y Frijoles," Los Angeles Times, 
February 11, 1983. 

4. Opinion piece by Wayne Smith, former head of the U.S. interest section 
in Cuba, New York Times, October 12, 1982 in Jonathan Fried, Marvin E. 
Gettleman, Deborah T. Levenson, and Nancy Peckenham, Guatemala in 
Rebellion: Unfinished History, Grove Press, Inc., New York, 1983, p. 31 1. 

5. "Report Bombs Set off at Israel, Other Embassies in Guatemala," JTA, 
January 14, 1982. 

6. "Israeli embassy rocked by blast," Miami Herald, August 13, 1982. 

236 Footnotes to pages 112-114 

7. Cheryl A. Rubenberg, "Israeli foreign policy in Central America," 
Third World Quarterly, July 1986; Kaufman et. al., Israeli-Latin American 
Relations, pp. 3 and 138. 

8. Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, pp. 51, 52. 

9. Chart from the Israeli Foreign Ministry, 1971, in Kaufman et. al., 
Israeli-Latin American Relations, p. 247; Shimeon Amir, Israel's Development 
Cooperation with Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Praeger, New York, 1974, p. 
113; Curtis and Gitelson, Israel in the Third World, p. 399. 

10. "Shopping Around for Weapons," Central America Report, March 28, 
1977. Guatemala actually preempted the move by canceling its agreements 
with Washington. 

11. George Black, "Israeli Connection— Not Just Guns for Guatemala," 
NACLA Report on the Americas, May-June, 1983. 

12. "International Arms Transfers to Central America Since 1969," 
Update (Central American Historical Institute, Georgetown University), July 
9, 1984 in Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, p. 53. 

1 3 . "Israel pushes aircraft at interfer," Central America Report, October 3 1 , 

14. Yoav Karni, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection," Ha'aretz, February 
7, 1986, translated in Al Fajr, February 14, 1986. 

15. Christopher Dickey, "Guatemala Uses U.S. 'Civilian' Copters in 
Warfare," Washington Post, ]zn\inry 23, 1982. 

16. "Israel May Become Regional Arms Supplier," December 5, 1977, 
and "Israel Pushes Aircraft at Interfer," October 31, 1977, Central America 
Report; Bernard Debusmann, "After Embassy Flap, a Look at Israel's Latin 
Arms Role," Reuters, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 24, 1984. According to 
President Laugurud, five patrol boats had been ordered (Central America 
Report, December 12, 1977). 

17. Guatemala City Radio Television, 0400 GMl, June 11, ivy-i, m 
FBIS Latin America, June 12, 1984. 

18. Victor Perera, "Uzi Diplomacy — How Israel Makes Friends and 
Enemies Around the World," Mother Jones, July 1985. 

19. "Problems From the Barrels of Israeli Guns," Latin America Weekly 
Report, May 16, 1980 and Rarihokwats, Guatemala: The Horror and the Hope, 
Four Arrows, York, PA, 1 982, p. 1 06 in Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, p. 

20. "Arms seizure irritates Belize dispute," Central America Report, ]u\y 4, 

21. Central America Report, October 17, 1977. 

22. Ma'ariv, April 30, 1974, in Kaufman et. al., Israeli-Latin American 
Relations, pp. 107-108. 

23. "Israel May Become Regional Arms Supplier"; "Israel Pushes Aircraft 
at Interfer"; Debusmann, "After Embassy Flap, a Look at Israel's Latin Arms 

24. Karni, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection." 

25. Cynthia Arnson and Flora Montealegre, IPS Resource Update, 

Footnotes to pages 114-115 237 

Washington, June 1982, in "Garrison Guatemala," NACLA Report on the 
/iwmVay, January/February, 183, p. 25. 

26. Robert Graham, "Barter Revisited: Latin America Takes a Fresh 
Look at Countertrade," Financial Times in Houston Chronicle, February 11, 

27. Klieman, Israel's Global Reach, p. 135. 

28. Graham Hovey, "U.S. Blocks Saleof Israeh Planes to Ecuadoreans," 
New York Times, February 8, 1977. 

29. "Arms seizure irritates Belize dispute." 

30. Graham, "Barter revisited: Latin America takes a fresh look at 

31. Enfoprensa, March 8, 1985. 

3 2 . Interview with information officer, Greek Embassy, Washington DC; 
Jerusalem Post, March 30, 1 986 and Hadashot, April 1 , 1 986 in FBIS Middle East 
and Africa; a complete account of the seizure of the West Lion appears in Israeli 
Foreign Affairs, May 1 986. Inquiries made in Greece in early 1 987 determined 
that the case had quietly dropped out of sight. 

3 3 . CBS Evening News (Bob Simon reporting from Guatemala) February 
16, 1983, in Nat Hentoff, "Should a Jewish State Arm a Christian Slaugh- 
terer?" Village Voice, ]untl\, 1983. 

34. "Israeh Arms for Sale," Time, March 28, 1983. 

35. Interview in Moment, June 1984. 

36. "Adquirio Guatemala Aviones Militares," PL, SlAG, Enfoprensa, in 
Excelsior, December 6, 1983. 

37. Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 1 6, 1 983 in Bahbah, Israel 
and Latin America, p. 161. 

38. George Black with Milton Jamail & Norma Stoltz Chinchilla, Garrison 
Guatemala, Monthly Review Press, 1984 p. 156. 

39. Allan Nairn, "Controversial Reagan Campaign Links with Guate- 
malan Government and Private Sector Leaders," COHA Research Memoran- 
dum, October 30, 1980, in Black et. al. Garrison Guatemala, pp. 147-148. 

40. Greve, "Israel able to expand role as Latin military supplier." 

41. Allan Nairn, "The Guatemala Connection," The Progressive, May 
1986. This article details a number of Reagan Administration arms shipments 
in defiance of the congressional ban. The Reagan Administration was operating 
under the dual handicap of having to slip these items past both Congress and the 
British, which continued to object to arms sales to Guatemala (Jackson and 
Keatley, "Britain protests at U.S. arms sales to Guatemala," Manchester 
Guardian, January 16, 1983.) The Thatcher government has similarly blocked 
Israeli arms sales to Argentina through the U.S. government. 

42. "Israel desarroUa una industra de guerra en Guatemala, denuncia el 
EGP,"£/ Dia, October 11, 1983. 

43. Enfoprensa, January 6, 1984. 

44. Latin America Regional Reports Mexico & Central America, August 1 7, 
1984; in a 1985 special edition, {op. cit.) Latin America Newsletters said that 
Austria had provided "the plant and some of the technology" and that a number 

238 Footnotes to pages 115-117 

of Guatemalan officers had been to Austria for technical training. This would 
appear to contradict Gen. Lucas' statement that Israel provided the factory. 

45. Kami, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection." 

46. "Israel's Part in Central America," (II) Central America Report, 
December 14, 1984, in Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, p. 59. 

47. "Industria Militar de Israel en Guatemala," AFP, AP, UPI, ANSA, 
Enfoprensa and SIAG, Excelsior, October 1 1, 1983. 

48. Cody, "El Salvador, Israel Set Closer Ties." 

49. Karni, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection." 

50. U.S. Congress, House, Committee on International Relations, Sub- 
committee on International Organizations, Human Rights in Nicaragua, Guate- 
mala and El Salvador: Implications for U.S. Policy, Hearings, 94th Cong., 2dSess., 
1976, pp. 51-52 in Delia Miller ^Z. al., Background Information on Guatemala, The 
Armed Forces and U.S. Military Assistance, Institute for Policy Studies, June 

1981, p. 6. 

51. Shirley Christian, "Congress is Asked for $54 Million to Aid Latin 
Antiterrorist Efforts," New York Times, November 6, 1985. 

52. Hentoff, "Should a Jewish State Arm a Christian Slaughterer.'" 

53. Israeli Foreign Affairs, November 1985 and April 1986. 

54. David Gardner, "How Israelis act as surrogates for U.S. in Central 
America," Financial Times, November 27, 1986. 

55. James LeMoyne, "Guatemala Crushes Rebels Its Own Way: Ruth- 
lessly," New York T^ww, January 13, 1985. 

56. Yediot Aharonot, February 7, 1 979 in Bahbah, Israel and Latin America, 
p. 162. 

57. Panama City ACAN, 2146 GMT, March 23, 1982, in FBIS Latin 
America, March 26, 1982 and NACLA interviews in Guatemala City, June 

1982, in Black al.. Garrison Guatemala, p. 123. Alvarez, as was Rios, was safe 
in Miami. 

58. Black, "Israeli Connection — Not just Guns for Guatemala." 

59. Allan Nairn and Jean-Marie Simon, "Bureaucracy of Death," New 
Republic, ]um 30, 1986; DPA, 2324 GMT, February 5, 1986 in FBIS Latin 
America, February 6, 1986. 

60. John Rettie, "Israeli arms help Guatemala's fight against Guerrillas," 
Manchester Guardian, Junuiry 10, 1982. 

61. "Moderna escuela de transmissiones y electronica del ejercito inaugu- 
rada," Diario de Centra America, (Guatemala City), November 5, 1981 in 
Cheryl A. Rubenberg, "Israel and Guatemala: Arms, Advice and Counterin- 
surgency," Middle East Report, May-June 1986. 

62. Rettie, "Israeli arms help Guatemala's fight against guerrillas." 

63. Black, "Israeli Connection — Not just Guns for Guatemala." 

64. Karni, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection," This installation is 
thought to have been destroyed in 1984 by insurgents (David Ferreira, 
"Guatemala: Unholy Allies," AfricAsia, November 1984). 

65. Nairn and Simon, "Bureaucracy of Death." 

66. Luisa Frank and Philip Wheaton, Indian Guatemala: The Path to 

Footnotes to pages 1 17-120 239 

Liberation, EPICA task force, Washington, 1 984, gives the earliest date among 
a number of sources (including "Keeping Track: Israeli Computers in 
Guatemala and El Salvador," Israeli Foreign Affairs, March 1985) and Yosef 
Pri'el, Davar, August 13, 1982, the latest (autumn, 1981) in Rubenberg, 
"Israeli Foreign Policy in Central America." 

67. Fr. Ronald Burke, a Catholic priest who had worked since 1 969 in the 
highland department of Chimaltenango, noted that "the computerized hit lists 
at that time were all coordinated at the annex at the Presidential Palace. And 
when I checked it out with the [U.S.] Embassy people they let me know 
indirectly that I was on that particular national hit list, and I was advised to get 
out of the country, quickly." Interview with Fr. Burke by Lenard Millich, 
January 1985. 

68. Christopher Dickey, "Guatemalan War Grows Fiercer," Washington 
Pwr, January 22, 1982. 

69. "Pozos de tortura y trabajo forzado en las aldeas modelo de Guatemala," 
SIAG and Enfoprensa, El Dia, May 22, 1983. 

70. "Crearan in Guatemala una tarjeta unica de identificacion personal," El 
Dia, August 22, 1986. 

71. AFP, 0236 GMT, September 17, 1983 m FBIS Latin America, 
September 19, 1983, p. P-17. 

72. Cited in Inforpress Centroamericana, August 30, 1984. 

73. Victor Perera, "Uzi Diplomacy," Mother Jones, July 1985. 

74. Black, "Israeli Connection - Not just Guns for Guatemala." 

75. " Asesores Israelies se encuentran en Guatemala," AIP, Enfoprensa and 
Salpress in El Dia, June 23, 1983. 

76. Nancy Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans," Multinational Monitor, April 

77. Marlise Simons, "Guatemalans Are Adding A Few Twists to 
'Pacification,'" New York Times, September 12, 1982. 

78. "Habra en Toda Guatemala Aldeas Modelo: Mejia V.," Excelsior, 
January 2, 1984. 

79. Black et. al.. Garrison Guatemala, p. 155. 

80. Alan Riding, "Government-Backed Cooperatives in Guatemala Aid 
Indians," September 13, 1975, and "Guatemala Opening New Lands but the 
Best Goes to Rich," April 5, 1979, New York Times; Stanley Meisler, 
"Guatemalan Co-ops Attract 'Red' Label," Los Angeles Times, February 1, 

81. Black, "Israeli Connection." 

82. Ibid. 

83. Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans." 

84. Ibid. 

85. Victor Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala," The Monthly 
(Berkeley, CA.) November 1985. 

86. Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans." 

87. "Transforming the Indian highlands," Latin America Regional Reports 
Mexico & Central America, May 6, 1983. 

240 Footnotes to pages 121-122 

88. Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala." 

89. Mary Jo McConahay , "Guatemalan town gets a road," Pacific News 
Service, Oakland Tribune, July 21, 1985. 

90. "Transforming the Indian highlands." See also Douglas Foster, 
"Guatemala: On the Green Path," Mother Jones, November-December 1985. 

91. Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans"; Christian Rudel, "Pacification 
Violente au Guatemala," Le Monde Diplomatique, August, 1985. 

92. Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans." 

93. Rudel, "Pacification Violente au Guatemala." 

94. Ibid. 

95. Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, Americas Watch, New York, January 
1984, p. 82. 

96. Marjorie Miller, "Indians' Culture Torn by Guatemalan Political 

97. Rudel, "Pacification Violente au Guatemala." 

98. ElDia, November 12, 1983. 

99. Nancy Peckenham, "Campos de reducacion para los indigenas," 
unomasuno, February 12, 1984. 

100. The Spanish is patrullas auto-defensas civilas. 

101. Simons, "Guatemalans Are Adding A Few Twists to 

102. In 1983 the National Workers Central (CNT) charged that under 
Rios Montt torture chambers were built in some of the model villages and that 
peasants who refused to participate in the patrols were punished in these. 
("Pozos de tortura y trabajo forzado...") 

103. Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala." 

104. Rubenberg, "Israeli Foreign Policy in Central America." 

105. Guatemala City Cadena de Emisoras Unidas, 0050 GMT, June 9, 
1984 in FBIS Latin America, June 12, 1984, p. P-13. 

106. Peckenham, "Bullets and Beans"; Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, pp. 

107. del Olmo, "In Guatemala, Fusiles y Frijoles." 

108. "Civil Defense Is Fact of Life In Guztemzh, New York Times, Marcy 
4, 1984. 

109. U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Sustaining A 
Consistent Policy in Central America: One Year After the National Bipartisan 
Commission Report, Special Report No. 142, Washington, DC, April 1985, p. 
12, in Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, p. 58. 

110. "Guatemala Asks Arms' Release," Washington Post, December 27, 
1983; Latin America Regional Report, Mexico & Central America, January 13, 
1984 says that U.S. officials said the rifles were Remingtons, while Israeli 
sources said they were Mausers; Bishara Bahbah (p. 161) says Israel has sold 
Guatemala "German-made bolt-action Mauser rifles from 1948 purchases 
from Czechoslovakia." 

111. "Guatemala Claims Rifles Seized by U.S. Customs," Washington 
Post, December 25, 1983. 

Footnotes to pages 122-124 241 

112. Guatemala City Cadena de Emisoras Unidas, 1230 GMT, December 
24, 1983 in FBIS Latin America, December 27, 1983, p. P-13. The antiquated 
weapons are in keeping with the reluctance of Guatemalan authorities to arm 
the population — in marked contrast to the Nicaraguan government's practice of 
distributing rifles. 

113. SI AG (Guatemalan Information and Analysis Service), Mexico 
City, April, 1984. 

1 14. "Pozos de tortura y trabajo forzado..." 

115. Loren Jenkins, "Guatemala turns to 'model villages' in its battle 
against guerrilla rebels," Washington Post in Philadelphia Inquirer, January 13, 

1 16. Rudel, "Pacification Violente au Guatemala." 

117. Moreover, because it occurs in a global economic system, the 
exploitation of the Guatemalan peasants creates additional victims. A strike of 
food workers against several Watsonville, California processing plants which 
account for 80 percent of the frozen broccoli and cauliflower (among other 
vegetables) sold in the U.S. and abroad (Antonio Garcia, "Big chill in frozen 
food industry," People's World, August 31, 1985)— it began in the fall of 1985 
and was still in progress in February 1 987 — over employer efforts to reduce the 
base wage from $7.06 to S4.25 an hour is directly related to what is happening 
in Guatemala, named as one of the countries where workers do not make that 
much in a day. (Robert Lindsey, "New Food Patterns Affect Strike in West," 
New York Ti?w«, January 1, 1986.) 

118. Jamail and Gutierrez, It's No Secret, p. 57. 

119. Guatemala: A Nation of Prisoners, pp. 85-86. 

120. It is the method proposed by Kach party leader Meir Kahane — 
expulsion of Palestinians and recommended laws to prevent intermarriage and 
the accompanying thuggery — to which other Israeli factions and U.S. Jewish 
organizations object, not the ultimate objective of reducing the Palestinian 
population of pre- 1967 Israel and the occupied territories. 

121. Elizabeth Gray, Report on Sunday Morning, Canadian Broadcasting 
Company, heard March 10, 1985, KALW-FM, San Francisco. 

122. Rubenberg, "Israeli Foreign Policy in Central America." 

123. Ma'ariv, in Shahak, Israel's Global Role, p. 48. 

124. Christopher Dickey, "Religious Rivalries Complicate Conflict 
Among Guatemalans," Washington Post, January 6, 1983. One interesting 
point made in this article is that the fundamentalists had a tendency to split and 
that the proliferation of churches tended to disorganize communities and diffuse 
opposition to the government. 


126. "Este Acto Injustificable Hiere a la Iglesia Catolica, Dice el Nuncio 
Apostolico," £xc^/«tfr, November 13, 1983. In November 1983, shortly after 
Rios was deposed, the Army chief of staff admitted that a number of Roman 
Catholic catechists had been detained at the Puerto Barrios military base after 
having been captured that August "for investigation to determine if they are 
actual participants in the subversion." (El Dia, November 12, 1983.) 

242 Footnotes to pages 124-127 

127. Shelton H. Davis, "Guatemala: The Evangelical Holy War in El 
Quiche," The Global Reporter, March 1983. 

128. Tom Pratt, "Falwell: Israel Needs U.S. Support," Tyler Courier- 
Times-Tele graph, (Texas) February 6, 1983, in Alan Dehmer, Unholy Alliance, 
ADC Issue Paper #16, Washington, DC, April 1984. 

129. CBN, 700 Club, June 9, 1982, Unholy Alliance. 

130. Ibid. 

131. Off-record interview with House Foreign Affairs Committee 
Western Hemisphere Subcommittee staff member, July 1, 1985. 

132. Ibid.;]tnk\r\s, "Guatemala turns to 'model villages'..." 

133. Letter to New York Times, January 24, 1984. 

134. The military also passed a decree granting amnesty to its members for 
any crimes they may have committed between 1982 and 1986. Decrees listed 
by number in Update on Guatemala, (publication of Nattional Committee in 
Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, 225 Lafayette St. , Room 212, New 
York, NY 100 12) January-March 1986. 

135. Guatemala City Radio-Television Guatemala, 0040 GMT, March 
12, 1986, in FBIS Latin America, March 17, 1986, p. P-10. 

136. Boletin International (publication of Guatemala Human Rights Com- 
mission [CDHG], Mexico City), March 1986. 

137. Economist, September 7, 1985; Diario Las Americas, September 8, 

138. James LeMoyne, "In Guatemala, the Army's Retreat May be Good 
Politics," New York Times, August 11, 1985. 

139. Clifford Krauss, "Guatemala Will Elect A Civilian, but Will He 
Control the Military?" Wall Street Journal, October 30, 1985. 

140. Piero Gleijeses, "The Guatemalan Silence, New Republic, ]une 10, 

141. All Things Considered, National Public Radio, June 25, 1986. 

142. AGN (Guatemala News Agency [Managua]) January 18, 1985; not 
exactly the kind of speech Solarz, a liberal by reputation, would be making in 
his own Brooklyn district. 

143. Heard extensively on RTF (Radio France International) and Spanish 
radio stations during the week of October 14, 1986. 

1 44. Guatemala City Cadena de Emisoras Unidas, 0050 GMT, September 
19, 1986 in FBIS Latin America, September 19, 1986, p. P-8. Following the 
restoration of relations with Britain in late 1986, Guatemala expected to receive 
aid from the EC itself. 

145. Letter to the Editor from Ramiro Gereda Asturias, Jerusalem Post, 
July 24, 1986. In his letter, a reply to a statement by the prime minister of 
Belize, Geredo insisted that Guatemala "does not buy defensive weapons" 
from Israel "because it produces its own." 

146. Dial Torgerson, "Tactics Shifting to AU-Out War in Guatemala," 
Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1982. 

147. Stephen Kinzer, "Guatemala Chief Confronts Crisis," New York 
Times, April 13, 1985; Guatemala City Cadena de Emisoras Unidas, 2350 

Footnotes to pages 128-130 243 

GMT, June 6, 1985, in FBIS Latin America, June 10, 1985, p. P-10. 

148. ITIM (Tel Aviv) 1818 GMT, June 15, 1982 in FBIS Middle East 
and Africa, June 16, 1982, p. 1-21. 

149. Black, "Israeli Connection." 

150. Joel Millman, "Waist Deep" (Book review) Present Tense, Spring 

151. Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala." 

152. Central America Report, December 2, 1983. 

153. Dan Rather, CBS Evening News, February 16, 1983, in Bahbah, 
Israel and Latin America, p. 163. 

154. Gil Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or: Business in Darkness," Ma'ariv, 
December 13, 1985, translated by Dr. Israel Shahak, Collection: More about 
Israeli weapons trade, and the way it influences Israeli politics. 

155. Gardner, "How Israelis act as surrogates for U.S. in Central 

156. Juan Tamayo, "Want to buy a fully trained SWAT team.'" Miami 
Herald, September 4, 1986; Simon Louisson, "How to build a bodyguard 
empire," Jerusalem Post, January 23, 1987. 

157. "Foreign Policy Put to the Test," Guatemala! (Publication of 
Guatemala News and Information Bureau, P.O. Box 28594, Oakland, CA. 
94604), September-October 1986. 

158. Author's sources; David Ferreira, "Guatemala: Unholy Allies"; 
Rudel, "Pacification Violente au Guatemala." 

159. "Foreign Policy Put to the Test." 

160. Cerigua and Enfoprensa, El Dia, August 8, 1986. 

161. Ignacio Klich, "Caribbean boomerang returns to sender," (London) 
Guardian, August 27, 1982. 

162. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or: Business in Darkness"; Juan O. Tamayo, 
"Dealers: Israel sent rebels arms," Miami Herald, December 1, 1986. 

163. "Israel and Central America," Latin America Regional Report Mexico 
and Central America, February 14, 1986. 

164. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or: Business in Darkness." 

166. Ibid. 

167. Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala"; Teodoro Ducach, 
"America Latina, mercado Fundamental Para las Armas Israelis," Excelsior, 
May 8, 1986. 

168. Enfopresna April 19, 1985. 

169. "Early friends take distance," Latin America Newsletters, Special 
Report, November 1 985; Israel seems to be firmly convinced that in the field of 
diplomacy, at least its pariah variety, examples generate momentum which 
generates results. 

170. "Cardamom Exports Will Resume, This Week in Central America and 
Panama, September 1 5, 1 980. However, Dr. Israel Shahak says he has otserved 
an active Guatemalan diplomatic office in Jerusalem. 

171. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or: Business in Darkness." 

244 Footnotes to pages 130-132 

172. Ducach, "America Latina, Mercado Fundamental Para las Armas 

173. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or: Business in Darkness." 

1 74. Stephen Kinzer, "Guatemalan Voters Will Get a Clear Choice," New 
York Times, December 1, 1985. 

175. Perera, "The Lost Tribes of Guatemala." 

1 76. Margaret Hooks, "Guatemala's new president is ready for challenge," 
Miami Herald, January 16, 1986. 

177. "Israel and Central America." 

178. Ducach, "America Latina, mercado Fundamental Para las Armas 

179. Guatemala City Radio-Television Guatemala, 0400 GMT, May 6, 
1986 in FBIS Latin America, May 7, 1986, p. P-2; Juan O. Tamayo, "Israel 
won't assist contras, Shamir says after Latin tour," Miami Herald, May 10, 

180. Kami, "The Israel-Guatemala Connection." 

181. AC AN, 0011 GMT, February 19, 1986 in FBIS Latin America, 
February 20, 1986, p. P-5. 

1 82. "Israel increases its presence," Latin America Regional Reports Mexico 
& Central America, Jmmty 10, 1986. 

183. Stephen Kinzer, "Guatemala Gets Help in Rebuilding Its Police," 
New York Times, May 18, 1986. 

184. Jerusalem Post, July 17, 1986. 

1 85. Milton Jamail, "Links with Belize," Israeli Foreign Affairs, July 1985. 

186. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1400 GMT, July 9, 1986 in FBIS 
Middle East & Africa, July 10, 1986, p. I-IO. 

187. El Grafico, (Guatemala City), July 25, 1986 in FBIS Latin America. 

188. ACAN (Panama City), 2200 GMT, July 31, 1986 in FBIS Latin 

189. Guatemala City Cadena de Emisoras Unidas, 0050 GMT, July 10, 
1986 in FBIS Latin America. 

190. El Graphico, (Guatemala City) May 7, 1986 in FBIS Latin America, 
May 12, 1986, p. P-9. 

191 . Tamayo, "Israel won't assist contras, Shamir says after Latin tour." 

192. "Demandan los trabajadores municipales de Guatemala, la renuncia 
del alcalde," Cerigua and IPS, El Dia, April 6, 1986; Central America Report, 
February 21, 1986 and report the same day from SI AG. 

193. John M. Goshko, "Controversy Looms Over Bid to Aid Guate- 
mala," Washington Post, March 11, 1979. 

194. James LeMoyne, "Guatemala Fights Its Bad-Guy Image, New York 
Times, December 25, 1984. 

1 95. Latin America Regional Report, Mexico and Centra! America, May 4, 

1 96. Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit, Anchor Books, 
Garden City, NY, 1983, provides an account of the destruction of Guatemala 
in the interest of "anti-communism" and the United Fruit Company. 

Footnotes to pages 133-139 245 

197. Black et. ai, Garrison Guatemala, pp. 21-24. 

198. Nairn and Simon, "Bureaucracy of Death." 

199. Alexander Cockburn, "Sharing Responsibility for Guatemalan 
horrors," Wall Street Journal, February 24, 1983. He adds that "investors have 
hastened to take advantage of tax incentives, a cowed and ill-paid work force 
and plans for military reorganization of the entire fabric of the countryside." 

Nicaragua Under Somoza 

1. Slater, The Pledge, pp. 257-259 

2. Anastasio Somoza Debayle, Nicaragua Betrayed, Western Islands, 
Belmont MA 1980, p. 12. (The publisher ofthis autobiography is a John Birch 
Society subsidiary.) 

3. Ibid., p. 1 73. Kaufman et. al., Israel-Latin American Relations, pp. 118, 


4. Kaufman et. al, Israel-Latin American Relations, pp. 107-205. 

5. Alan Riding, "Nicaragua Trie.<; Economic Cure," New York Times, 
November 27, 1979. "Nicaraguan Debt Obligations Emerge as a Key Pointer 
of Junta Policy Direction," Business Latin America, October 10, 1979. 

6. SIPRI Yearbook 1980, p. 96. The remaining two percent came from 
Argentina and a private dealer in Miami. 

1 .Jerusalem Post, February 8, 1974 in Kaufman al. Israel-Latin American 
Relations, p. 108. 

8. Chart derived from Jane's Fighting Ships, SIPRI Yearbooks, The Military 
Balance, Strategy Week, in Ignacio Klich, "Israel arms the Dictators," Middle 
East International, December 23, 1982. 

9. William R. Long, "Somoza Still Has the Firepower; Can Mass Uprising 
Topple Him?" Miami Herald, September 1 7, 1978. 

10. "Israeli-Made Weapons Helped Save the Somoza Dynasty," London 
Observer Service, Miami Herald, October 18, 1978. 

11. Davar, November 13 1979 in Israel Shahak, Israel's Global Role: 
Weapons for Repression, Association of Arab- American University Graduates, 
Belmont, MA 1982, p. 17. 

12. Citing an OAS report of November 1978, James Nelson Goodsell, 
"OAS raps Nicaraguan ruler," Christian Science Monitor, November 20, 1 978. 

13. Davar, November 14, 1979 in Shahak, Israel's Global Role, p. 17. 

14. Robert B. CuUen, "U.S. Won't Attempt to Prevent Israeli Arms Sales 
to Somoza," AP, Miami Herald, November 18, 1978. 

15. "Nicaragua: Somoza's Guernica," Latin America Political Report, June 
29, 1979. 

16. Somoza, Nicaragua Betrayed, p. 260. 

17. "Nicaragua: destruction with honour," Latin America Political Report, 

246 Footnotes to pages 139-146 

July 6, 1979. 

18. Alan Riding, "Reporters Notebook: Somoza Fighting On as Aides 
Panic," New York Times, June 28, 1979. 

19. Alan Riding, "Nicaragua After Somoza," New York Times, February 
3, 1980. 

20. "Israel Agrees to Suspend Nicaraguan Arms Deliveries," Washington 
Post, July I, \979. 

21. Somoza, Nicaragua Betrayed, p. 239-240. 

22. "Begin Peace Prize Called 'Tainted,"' Miami Herald, November 13, 

23. Alan Riding, "Both Sides Prepare for Bloodletting in Nicaragua," 
New York Times, November 19, 1978. 

24. Cullen, "U.S. Won't Attempt to Prevent Israeli Arms Sales to 

25. "Israel Agrees to Suspend Nicaraguan Arms Deliveries." 

26. James Bock, "Israel's role in Central America quiet, longstanding," 
Baltimore Sun, December 5, 1986. 

27. Alan Riding, "Nicaragua Tries Economic Cure." 

28. Jean-Pierre Langellier, "Israel au sud du rio Grande," Le Monde, 
Weekly International Edition, week ending December 7, 1986. 

29. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 0900 GMT, August 6, 1982 in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, August 6, 1982, p. 1-9. 

Israel & the Contras 

1. "Israel-Contras Link Goes Back Years, According to Israeli," AP, San 
Francisco Chronicle, December 5, 1986. 

2. Jerry Meldon, "The Contra Connection May Go Back As Far As 
1979," Boston Globe, November 30, 1986. This article is based on sources of 
Daniel Sheehan of the Christie Institute, which filed a racketeering suit against a 
number of network operatives and U.S. officials after two journalists were 
injured in the attempted assassination of Eden Pastora in 1984. EATSCO was 
the Egyptian American Transport Services Company. 

3. Ben Bradlee, Jr., "Ex-agent says U.S. shielded 4 tied to contras," Boston 
GMf, January 25, 1987. 

4. Meldon, "The Contra Connection May Go Back As Far As 1979." 

5. Christopher Dickey, With the Contras, Simon & Shuster, NY, 1 985, pp. 

6. Testimony of Hector Francis, a defecting Argentine contra trainer, to 
Latin American Federation of Journalists, Mexico City, published in Barricada, 
(Managua) December 2, 1982, translated by Carmen Alegria in Black Scholar, 
March- April, 1982. 

7. Dickey, With the Contras, op. cit. 

Footnotes to pages 146-148 247 

8. Ha'aretz, December 5, 1 986 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, December 5, 
1986, p. 1-4. This story cites Foreign Report, which it does not further identify 
but might be the report by that name produced by the intelligence unit of the 
Economist. The story also details an earlier attempt by Iran, under Israeli 
pressure, to bomb the Osirak reactor. 

9. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 0900 GMT, August 6, 1982 in FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, August 6, 1982, p. 1-9. 

10. Stephen Engelberg, "Official Says Contacts by Israelis on Arming of 
the Contras Date from '82," New York Times, February 8, 1987. Israel 
captured a great stock of arms in Lebanon in 1982. However intelligence 
sources say that since it captured East bloc arms in its 1967 war, Israel has been 
trading in them and is perhaps the second biggest trader in these wares, after the 

11. Newsweek December 6, 1986. "America's Secret Warriors," Ibid., 
October 10, 1983. 

12. Jeff McConnell, "How Israel came to deal with the contras," Boston 
Sunday Globe, January 18, 1987. 

13. "Israeli arms sales in Latin America," Le Monde (in Manchester 
Guardian) 5/6/84; Philip Taubman, "Israel Said to Aid Latin Aims of U.S.," 
New York Times,]u\y 2\, 1983. 

14. Edy Kaufman, "The View from Jerusalem," Washington Quarterly, 
Fall, 1984. 

15. Jacques Lemieux, "Le role d'Israel en Amerique centrale," Le Monde 
Diplomatique, October 1984. 

1 6. Washington Post, December 7, 1 982; Ignacio Klich, "Israel et L' Ameri- 
que Latine," Ibid., February 1983. 

17. Latin America Weekly Report, December 17, 1982. 

18. SIPRI Yearbook 1984, p. 238. 

19. Danny Goodgame, "Israel Asks U.S. to Finance Sales to Latin 
America, Miami Herald, December 13, 1982. 

20. Ibid.; U.S. Assistance to the State of Israel, pp. 43-45. 

2 1 . M. Torres, "La Influencia de Estados Unidos en la formulacion de la 
Politica Exterior de Honduras," Boletin Informativo Honduras, Centro de 
Documentacion de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, March 16, 1985. 

22. Undelivered speech by Sharon, published in Ma'ariv, December 18, 
1981, transl. in Journal of Palestine Studies, No. 43, Spring 1982. 

23. Gid'on Samet, "Superman Must Take it Easy," Ha'aretz, December 3, 
1986, in FBIS Middle East & Africa, pp. 1-3-4. 

24. Charles R. Babcock, "U.S. -Israeli Ties Stronger Than Ever," 
Washington Post, August 5, 1986. 

25. Report of the President's Special Review Board (Tower Commission 
Report), February 26, 1987, p. C-9. 

26. Der Spiegel, July 26, 1983 in Jesus Guevara Morin/Notimex, "Israel 
es el principal proveedor de armas a los contrarrevolucionarios nicaraguenses," 
unomasuno, April 23, 1984. 

27. "An Israeli Connection?" Time, May 7, 1984. 

28. "Eden Pastora Unmasked as Longtime U.S. Agent," Counterspy 

248 Footnotes to pages 149-150 

Sept. -Nov. 1983. According to Hector Francis (see above), Pastora had served 
as an informer for the U.S. as early as 1 979, "because he was finding out that he 
was not going to have the degree of power that he thought he should have 
within the revolution." 

29. Caitlin Randall, "Two U.S. journalists are cleared of libeling rancher 
in Costa Rica," Miami Herald, May 25, 1986; Jay Ducassi and Christina 
Cheakalos, "Journalists suit claims ring tried to kill contra," Ibid., May 30, 
1986; Mark Prendergast, "Pro-Contras linked to plot to assassinate Pastora, 
envoy," Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel, in San Antonio Light, May 22, 
1986. After further CIA pressure, Pastora retired in May 1986. 

30. "The Most Dangerous Game," Time, October 17, 1983. 

31. Joel Brinkley, "Costa Rican Aides Are Said to Take Rebel Bribes," 
New York Times, April 23, 1984. 

32. Prendergast, "Pro-Contras linked to plot to assassinate Pastora, 
envoy." Martha Honey and Tony Avirgan, La Penca, San Jose, Costa Rica, 
draft copy, 1 984, p. 72; later there would be an airstrip, drug dealing and a plot 
to assassinate the U.S. ambassador. 

3 3 . Juan O. Tamayo, "Mysterious donations boost Pastora's numbers and 
goals," Miami Herald, September 9, 1983. 

34. Sunday Times (London) August 30, 1983, in Guevara, "Israel es el 
principal proveedor de armas a los contrarrevolu-cionarios nicaraguenses." 

35. Author's source. 

36. Panama City ACAN (dateline, San Jose), 0045 GMT, April 24, 1 984 
in FBIS Latin America, April 25, 1984, p. P-12. 

37. Sonia Vargas L., Alfonso Robelo, "Pastora debe aceptar union de 
ARDE y FDN," La Nacion Internacional, (San Jose, Costa Rica) June 7-13, 

38. Madrid EFE, 022 GMT, September 25, 1 984 in FBIS Latin America, 
September 27, 1984, p. P- 15. 

39. "Noriega ordeno el asesinato," Rumbo Centroamericano, (San Jose, 
Costa Rica) September 26-October 2, 1985. 

40. Newsweek, ("Periscope" section) June 30, 1986; see also "General 
Noriega of Panama," Israeli Foreign Affairs, September 1986. The Panamanian 
military had President Ardito Barletta, Devalle's predecessor, resign to forestall 
and investigation into the murder of Spadafora, which many believe would 
have implicated the military. 

41. Jeff McConnell, "How Israel came to deal with the contras," Boston 
Sunday Globe, January 18, 1987. 

42. Bob Woodward, "CIA Sought 3rd-Country Contra Aid," Washington 
Post, May 19, 1984. 

43. Philip Taubman, "Nicaragua Rebels Reported to Have New Flow of 
Arms," New York 7"iw?«, January 13, 1985. 

44. Chris Maupin, report and report in Nuevo Diario, (Managua) April 1 , 

45. Chris Maupin, interviews in Nicaragua, March and April 1985. 

46. All Things Considered, April 23, 1985. 

Footnotes to pages 151-153 249 

47. Maupin, eyewitness report. 

48. Stephen Engelberg, "Official Says Contacts by Israelis on Arming of 
the Contras Date from '82"; Congressional investigators "suspected" the 
"basic outline" of Terrell's account "to be accurate." 

49. Chris Hedges, "Contra visit to Israel disclosed," Dallas Morning News, 
December 10, 1986. 

50. Tom Jelton report from Miami, All Things Considered, National Public 
Radio, December 6, 1 986; Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1 700 GMT, February 
2, 1987, FBIS Middle East and Africa, February 3, 1987, p. 1-3. 

5 1 . Chris Hedges, "Contra visit to Israel disclosed," Dallas Morning News, 
December 10, 1986. 

52. Jerusalem Domestic Service, 1700 GMT, February 2, 1987, FBIS 
Middle East and Africa, February 3, 1987, p. 1-3; the Israeli press has 
consistently referred to Montealegre as Montenegro. 

53. Newsweek, December 15, 1986. 

54. Newsday, Jinuziy 18, 1987 cited in Jack Colhoun, "Congress deflects 
gaze from contra side of scandal," Guardian, February 4, 1987. 

55. Newsweek, December 15, 1986. 

56. Ignacio Klich, "Israel and the Contras," Middle East International, April 

57. Stephen Engelberg, "Official Says Contacts by Israelis on Arming of 
the Contras Date from '82." 

58. Report on Preliminary Inquiry, p. 50. 

59. Juan O. Tamayo, "Dealers: Israel sent rebels arms," Miami Herald, 
December 1, 1986. 

60. Glen Frankel, "Israeli Economy Depends on No-Questions-Asked 
Arms Sales," Washington Post, December 12, 1986. 

61. Tamayo, "Dealers: Israel sent rebels arms." 

62. Gil Qeysari and Yosef Walter, "Arms Traced Through Honduras to 
Contras," Ma'ariv, November 27, 1986 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, 
December 1, 1986, p. 1-7. The original Ma'ariv article (Gil Kesary, "Pesakh 
Ben-Or— Business in Darkness," December 13, 1985, translated by Israel 
Shahak in Collection: More about Israeli weapons trade, and the way it influences 
Israeli politics,) which this one updates focused primarily on Ben Or's activities 
in Guatemala. In a telephone conversation Col. Perez confirmed the documents 
and verified his signature — one of undoubtedly many instances where Hon- 
duran officers acted as forwarding agents for the contras. 

63. Frankel, "Israeli Economy Depends on No-Questions- Asked Arms 

64. Jack Colhoun, "Contra Weapons Conduit Goes through Tel Aviv," 
Guardian, April 16, 1986. 

65. Joel Brinkley, "White House Aid to Nicaraguan Rebels Reportedly 
Worried CIA," New York Times, August 10, 1985. 

66. Ignacio Klich, "Pro the Contras," Guardian, October 11, 1985. 

67. Jack Colhoun, "Contra Weapons Conduit Goes through Tel Aviv," 
Guardian, April 16, 1986. 

68. A report in Defense and Foreign Affairs "suggests that Ben Or may have 

250 Footnotes to pages 153-155 

supplied the Soviet SAM-7 missiles." (Cited in "Israel and Central America," 
Latin America Regional Report Mexico and Central America, February 14, 1986). 

69. Contra sources said that when they had trouble operating the SAM-7s 
Gen. Singlaub arranged for a technician to fix them and train the contras to 
maintain them. Singlaub acknowledged the story but "refused to identify the 
technician or his nationality, saying, 'It would put too many people in 
jeopardy."' Doyle McManus, "Contras Say They Bought Missile From Soviet 
Bloc," Los Angeles Times, December 7, 1985. 

70. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or — Business in Darkness," Gil Qeysari and 
Yosef Walter, "Arms Traced Through Honduras to Contras," Ma'ariv, 
November 27, 1986 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, December 1, 1986, p. 1-7; 
Jack Colhoun, "Contra Weapons Conduit Goes through Tel Aviv," Guardian, 
April 16, 1986. 

71. Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or — Business in Darkness." 

72. Qeysari and Walter, "Arms Traced Through Honduras to Contras." 

73. Author's source. 

74. "Israel security firm denies aiding Contras," Jerusalem Post, January 1 9, 

75. Klich, "Israel and the Contras." 

76. "Israel security firm denies aiding Contras." 

77. Frankel, "Israeli Economy Depends on No-Questions- Asked Arms 

78. Klich, "Israel and the Contras." 

79. James Rowen, "Rebels got weapons through theft and third-party 
deals," Milwaukee Journal, January 19, 1987. 

80. Ibid. 

81. Ma '«n'i;, February 1, 1987 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, February 2, 
1987, p. 1-2. 

82. IDF Radio, 1405 GMT, February 1, 1987, in FBIS Middle East and 
Africa, February 2, 1987, pp. 1-2-3. 

83. "De nouveaux conseillers israeliens en Amerique centrale," Afrique- 
Asie, April 25, 1983. 

84. Quoting Washington intelligence sources, ANN, ANSA, AP and 
FEE, "Apoyo de Israel, Brasil y Venezuela a somocistas," unomasuno, (Mexico 
City) July 1, 1983. These sources also spoke of support from Brazil and 

85. Davar, cited by Latin America Regional Reports Mexico and Central 
America, March 23, 1984. 

86. Simon Louisson, "How to build a bodyguard empire," Jerusalem Post, 
January 23, 1987. 

87. Davar, cited by Klich, "Pro the Contras." 

88. Juan O. Tamayo, "Want to buy a fully trained SWAT team?" Miami 
Herald, September 4, 1986. 

89. Ibid. 

90. Louisson, "How to build a bodyguard empire." 

Footnotes to pages 156-159 251 

91. Tamayo, "Want to buy a fully trained SWAT team.'" 

92. Louisson, "How to build a bodyguard empire." 

93. Tamayo, "Want to buy a fully trained SWAT team?" 

94. Lev Bearfield, "Masters of All they survey," Jerusalem Post Magazine, 
December 19, 1986. 

95. William E. Geist, "About New York— A boutique for All Your 
Anti-Terrorist Needs," New York riw«, January 1, 1987. 

96. Dan Fisher, "Stung by Criticism, Israel Reviews its Arms Industry," 
Los Angeles Times, September 18, 1986. 

97. Jane Hunter, "The Great Iran Arms Sale Plot," Israeli Foreign Affairs, 
June 1986. 

98. Asher Wallfish, "Scandals prompt change in permits to sell weaponry," 
Jerusalem Post, October 29, 1986. 

99. Tel Aviv IDF Radio, 0600 GMT, December 10, 1986 in FBIS Latin 
America, December 10, 1986, p. P-16. 

100. Michael Preker, "Anonymous Israeli tells of dealings with contras," 
Dallas Morning News, December 7, 1986. 

101. Ha'aretz cited in "Israeli contra training reported," Christian Science 
Monitor, janmiy 13, 1987. 

102. Woodward, "CIA Sought 3rd-Country Contra Aid." 

103. "Backdoor Help for Contras, Replaces Congress-Voted Aid," This 
Week Central America and Panama, September 17, 1984. Philip Taubman, 
"Nicaragua Victims Tied to Recruiting," New York Times, September 4, 1 984. 
These figures were estimates by FDN leaders, "government officials" and 
"White House sources." Other givers were big U.S. corporations and the 
governments of Guatemala, Venezuela, Taiwan, Honduras, El Salvador and 

104. Alfonso Chardy, "Private Aid Fuels Contras in Nicaragua," Miami 
Herald, September 9, 1984. 

105. AP, Washington Post, September 15, 1985; Bird & Holland, "Dis- 
patches," The Nation, September 28, 1985. 

106. Ellen Ray and William Schaap, "The Modern Mithridates: Vernon 
Walters: Crypto-diplomat and Terrorist," CovertAction Information Bulletin, 
Number 26, Summer 1986. Walters has played a leading role in a number of the 
worst episodes of U.S. intervention: Iran, Brazil, Guatemala, Chile, Argentina 
as well as meddling in North and Southern Africa. 

1 07. Alfonso Chardy, "How U.S. used network to fund contras," San Jose 
Mercury News, October 28, 1986. 

108. "Probes Encompass Roles of Casey and CIA," Washington Post, 
November 28, 1986. 

109. Chardy, "How U.S. used network to fund contras." 

110. Jack Colhoun, "Congress of cowards," Guardian, (NY) October 2, 

111. Frank Greve, "Israel reported set to pick up U.S. role with Latins," 
Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 1984. 

252 Footnotes to pages 159-162 

112. "Dine on 'Revolutionary Era,'" Near East Report (publication of 
AlPAC, Israel's registered lobby), April 14, 1986. 

113. Haaretz, May 20, 1 982 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, May 21,1982, 
p. 1-1. 

114. U.S. Assistance to the State of Israel, p. 38; David Landau "Israel 
Gaining Closer Ties with African States," /^rttM/mFMZ, December 4, 1981 in 
Shahak, Israel's Global Role, pp. 46-47; (Sharon said the the U.S. would pay 
interest fo&delaying the implementation of the MOU Ha'aretz, May 20, 1982 
in FBIS Middle East & Africa, May 21, 1982, p. I-l). 

1 1 5. Philip Taubman, "Israel Said to Aid Latin Aims of U.S.," New York 
Times, July 21, 1983; "Where the United States Needs Israel," Ha'aretz, 
November 11, 1983 in Israel Mirror (no date). 

116. "Israel and Central America," Latin America Regional Report Mexico 
and Central America, February 14, 1986. 

1 1 7. Philip Taubman, "Israel Said to Aid Latin Aims of U.S.," New York 
Times, ]u\y2\, 1983. 

118. Richard B. Straus, "Israel's New Super-Lobby In Washington: 
Reagan and Co.," Washington Post (opinion piece), April 27, 1986, speaks of 
the open hostility to Arabs in Congress; the theme that Washington should not 
"cater" to Arab governments is echoed frequently by AIPAC and was the 
rationale of recent congressional action to block arms sales to Arab states by 
conditioning those sales on the willingness of Jordan or Saudi Arabia to 
unilaterally negotiate (i.e. abandon demands for a solution to the Palestinian 
issue) with Israel. 

119. Charles R. Babcock, "U.S. -Israeli Ties Stronger Than Ever," 
Washington Post, August 5, 1986. 

120. Interview in Hatzofe, December 16, 1983 in FBIS Middle East & 
Africa, December 19, 1983, p. I-l. 

121. Ma'ariv, April 10, 1984 in FBIS, Middle East and Africa, April 10, 
1984, p. 1-2. The UN condemned it. 

122. Yediot Aharonot, December 4, 1983, FBIS Middle East & Africa, 
December 6, 1983, p. 1-5. 

123. James McCartney, "New Reagan policy stresses Israel, firepower," 
San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle, December 4, 1983. 

124. Chardy, "How U.S. used network to fund contras." 

125. Richard B. Straus, "Kimche: The Missing Link Between Iran and the 
Contras.'" Los Angeles Times, January 1 1, 1987. 

126. "Where the United States Needs Israel." 

127. Straus, "Kimche: The Missing Link Between Iran and the Contras.'" 

128. "Money Laundering Request," New York Times, November 26, 

129. David K. Shipler, "Israel Was Reportedly Given Differing Signals by 
U.S. on Iran Arms Sales," Ibid., November 27, 1986. 

130. Chardy, "How U.S. used network to fund contras." 

131. Ha'aretz, presumably another fragment of the April 4 report, cited in 
"Israeli Latin Role is Denied by U.S," AP, New York Times, April 22, 1984. 

Footnotes to pages 163-165 253 

132. Ha'aretz, April 4, 1984, excerpt transl. in Israleft No. 244, May 4, 
1984; other parts of article cited in Latin America Weekly Report, May 4, 1984. 

133. Wolf Blitzer, "U.S. wants Israeli aid in Central America," Jerusalem 
Post, April 22, 1984. 

134. "Israeli Reports Policy is Not to Aid Sandinista Foes," New York 
Times, April 28, 1984. 

135. Bob Woodward, "Steps Toward a Disengagement in Nicaragua Are 
Recommended," Washington Post, April 13, 1984. 

1 36. Bob Woodward, "CIA South 3rd-Country Contra Aid," Ibid., May 
19, 1984. 

137. "Biggest Nicaraguan Rebel Group Wants Aid from Israel," Los 
Angeles Times, (in San Francisco Chronicle April 16, 1984). 

138. Pastora Interviewed on Voice of Sandino (clandestine to Nicaragua) 
2300 GMT, April 16, 1984 in FBIS Latin America, April 17, 1984, pp. 

139. Amir Oren, "Nicaraguan Rebel Representative Calls for Aid," 
Davar, April 27,1984 [excerpt] in FBIS Middle East & Africa, April 27,1984, 
pp. 1-4-5 (and repressive governments were being helped by Israel). 

140. Fred Francis, NBC Nightly News, 5:30 p.m. (PDT), April 23, 
1 984. Transcript courtesy of November 29th Committee for Palestine, (P.O. 
Box 27462, San Francisco, CA 94127). 

141. Jerusalem Domestic Service in English, 1 800 GMT, April 25, 1 984 
in FBIS Middle East & Africa, April 26, 1984, p. 1-5. 

142. "Israeli Latin Role is Denied by U.S," AP, New York Times, April 
22, 1984. 

143. Oswald Johnston, "Israel Denies That It's Aiding Nicaragua 
Rebels," Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1984. 

144. Edy Kaufman, "The View From Jerusalem," Washington Quarterly, 
Fall 1984. 

145. David K. Shipler, "Israel and the U.S. Stay On Speaking Terms," 
New York Times, December 29, 1985. 

146. John M. Goshko, "Israel Denjes Arming Nicaraguan Contras," 
Washington Post, April 28, 1984. 

147. Kathryn Ferguson report on AlUThings Considered, National Public 
Radio, April 27, 1984. 

148. John M. Goshko, "U.S., Israel Discuss Increasing Aid to Third 
World Countries," Washington Post, April 27, 1984. 

149. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, (99th Congress), Report on 
Preliminary Inquiry , Washington, DC, January 29, 1986, p. 53 md passim, notes 
the testimony of a CIA analyst who believed that some of the profits reaped 
from arms sales to Iran had been used for "other projects of the U.S. and Israel." 

150. The Report on Preliminary Inquiry, speaks of Nir as the culprit. 
Kimche was mentioned first, in earlier reports, e.g. New York Times, December 
30, 1986. 

151. Christopher Thomas, "Secret evidence suggests Peres originated 
Contra cash scheme," Times (London), January 12, 1987. 

254 Footnotes to pages 166-168 

152. Lally Weymouth, "Khashoggi Speaks," Washington Post, February 
1, 1987. 

1 53. Davar, May 3, 1 984, in FBIS Middle East & Africa, May 4, 1 984, pp. 
I 6-7. 

154. SIPRI yearbook 1984, p. 526; Frank Greve, "Israel Reported Set to 
Pick Up U.S. Role with Latins," Philadelphia Inquirer, May 31, 1984. 

155. Milavnews, ]u\y 1977. 

156. Juan Tamayo, "Honduran Forces Too Sparse to Risk War with 
Nicaragua," Miami Herald, May 13, 1983. 

157. Edward Cody, "Sharon to Discuss Arms Sales in Honduras," 
Washington Post, December 7, 1982. 

158. John Yemma, "Israel Guns for Worldwide Arms Market," Christian 
Science Monitor, December 27, 1982. 

159. Susan Morgan, "Israel selling fighter jets, tanks to Honduras.'" Ibid., 
December 14, 1982; "Alvarez looks for Israeli arms," Latin America Weekly 
Report, December 17, 1982; Juan Tamayo, "Honduras seeks to buy weapons 
from Israelis," Miami Herald, December 9, 1982. 

160. Klich, "Pro the Contras." 

161. ACAN-EFE (Panama City— dateline Tegucigalpa), 1925 GMT, 
June 21, 1984, in FBIS Latin America, June 22, 1984. 

162. This was known as early as 1 985 (Kesary, "Pesakh Ben-Or Business 
in Darkness"), and confirmed again on CBS Sixty Minutes February 22, 1987. 

163. Jerusalem Post, October 23, 1986 and other sources in Israeli Foreign 
Affairs, November 1986 and December 1986. 

1 64. Honey and Avirgan, La Penca. 

165. Latin America Regional Reports, Mexico and Central America, October 
29,1982; Ignacio Klich, "Israel et F Amerique Latine, Le pari d'un engagement 
accru aux cotes de Washington," Le Monde Diplomatique, February 1983. 

166. "Monge Whistles in the Dark," Latin America Regional Report, 
Central America and Mexico, July 7, 1982; Ha'aretz, November 11, 1982, 
translated in Israeli Mirror (London). 

167. Ignacio Klich, "Israel et L' Amerique Latine." 

168. Martha Honey, "Costa Rica Declares Its Neutrality," The Times 
(London), September 19, 1983. 

1 69. Yoav Karny, "Door is Open for Military Aid to Costa Rica," Yediot 
Aharonot, October25, 182, in FBIS Middle East and Africa, October 2 7, 1982. 

1 70. Jerusalem Post, January 9, 1 983. 

171. David Landau, "Israel to Help Costa Rica's Economy," Jerusalem Post, 
October 20, 1982; Karny, "Door is Open for Military Aid to Costa Rica." 

172. Jacques Lemiuex, "Le role d'Israel en Amerique Centrale," Le Monde 
Diplomatique, October 1984; Miami Herald, September 13, 1983. 

173. Diario La Hora (Guatemala), March 19, 1985 in Inforpress Centro- 
americana, March 28, 1985. Along with the U.S. and West Germany, Israel 
helped train the right-wing paramilitary OPEN; Leslie Gelb, "Israel Said to 
Step Up Latin Role, Offering Arms Seized in Lebanon," New York Times, 
December 17, l982;ElDia, May 15, 1986, mnshtedin Israeli Foreign Affairs, 

Footnotes to pages 168-171 255 

June 1986. 

1 74. San Jose Radio Reloj, 1 330 GMT, December 4, 1 983, in FBIS Latin 
America, December 5, 1985. 

1 75. Diario La Hora, op. cit. 

176. Ha'aretz, November 1, 1982, transl. in Israeli Mirror; Defense Latin 
America, August 1983 and Pittsburgh Press, March 1, 1983 in Counterspy, 
September-November 1983; Libertad, (San Jose) May 4-10, 1984 in FBIS 
Latin America, May 22, 1984; Dial Torgerson, "Frontier Area No Longer 
Neglected," LM^«gf/«Tiw«, May 23, 1 983 ;Jack Anderson, "U.S. and Israel 
Aim for Pinch on Nicaragua," Washington Post, February 14, 1983; "Costa 
Rica Recibe Donacion Millonaria de Estados Unidos.' A Cambio de Que?" 
Inforpress Centroamericana, April 11, 1985. 

A Classic Case of Disinformation 

1 . Everybody, save a few lonely voices, notably Rep. Ronald Dellums and 
other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, concurred, however, on 
Libya, which the administration bombed in April 1986. But Israel had also been 
designating Libya as an enemy for months. 

2. "Where the United States Needs Israel." 

3. Taubman, "Israel Said to Aid Latin Aims of U.S." 

4. Jeff McConnell, "How Israel came to deal with the contras," Boston 
G/oZ-^, January 18, 1987. 

5. Latin America Regional Report, Mexico and Central America, May 4, 1984. 

6. Taubman, "Israel Said to Aid Latin Aims of U.S." 

7. Dan Sudran and Robert Rubin, "In defense of Nicaragua — anti- 
Semitism is not evident," Northern California Jewish Bulletin, August 2, 1985. 

8. Joseph Berger, "Nicaragua's Jews: Wide Disagreement on Status," New 
York Times, April 20, 1986. 

9. Edward Cody, "Managua's Jews Reject Anti-Semitism Charge," 
Washington Post, August 29, 1983. 

10. Comision Nacional de Promocion y Proteccion de los Derechos 
Humanos , Resultados de una investigacion que la comision nacional. . . hizo en relacion a 
un comunicado de la "Anti Defamation League (ADL) of B'Nai B'rith" sobre una 
supuesta persecucion a la comunidad judia en Nicaragua," Managua, 1983, p. 5. 

1 1 . Franz Schneiderman, Bending Swords into Plowshares: An Investigation 
of the Tensions between Israel and Nicaragua, special report by the Council on 
Hemispheric Affairs, Washington DC, November 26, 1985. 

12. Ibid 

13. Dan Sudran and Robert Rubin, "In defense of Nicaragua— anti- 
Semitism is not evident," Northern California Jewish Bulletin, August 2, 1985. 

14. Walter Ruby, "NJA Mission Meets with Nicaraguans," Genesis 2 
September/October 1984. 

256 Footnotes to pages 171-173 

15. Robert Weisbrot, "Dateline Managua: Anti-Semitism or Anti- 
climax?" Moment, October 1984. 

16. Brickner, "Demythologizing Nicaragua," Christian Century, October 
10, 1984. 

1 7. Saul Sorrin, "Report from Nicaragua," Reform Judaism, Summer 1 984. 

18. Latin America Regional Report, Mexico and Central America, May 4, 

19. Weisbrot, "Dateline Managua: Anti-Semitism or Anti-climax.'" 

20. Schneiderman, Bending Swords Into Plowshares..." 

21. Robert Weisbrot, "Dateline Managua: Anti-Semitism or Anti- 
climax.'" Moment, October 1984. 

22. Edward Cody, "Managua's Jews Reject Anti-Semitism Charge," 
Washington Post, August 29, 1983. 

23. "De Antisemitismo Accusa Moussali a Nicaragua," Excelsior, June 8, 

24. Author's interviews. 

25. Resultados de una investigacion que la comision nacioml...hizo, p. 5. 

26. George Black, "Taking Note," Nacla Report on the Americas, June 

27. Cited from Washington Post, January 27, 1985, "U.S. Jews against 
Contras," Jewish Currents, June 1986. 

28. Nadine Joseph, "3 dispute charges of anti-Semitism by Nicaragua," 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin, December 14, 1984. Although AK-47s are 
more commonly associated with the contras, they have been supplied with the 
Galil. Others might have preserved the rifles from their service with the 
Somocist National Guard. 

29. Liz Balmaseda, "Nicaraguan Jews feel sting of ouster," Miami Herald, 
July 2, 1983. 

30. Sorrin, "Report from Nicaragua,." 

31. Robert Weisbrot, "Dateline Managua: Anti-Semitism or Anti- 

32. All Things Considered, National Public Radio, August 24, 1984. 

3 3 . In August 1 985 the State Department published a polemic entitled The 
Sandinistas and Middle Eastern Radicals, which it described as "An unclassified 
report on Sandinsita ties to Middle Eastern radicals, including Sandinista 
participation in Middle East aircraft hijacking and terrorism in 1 970, [sic] and 
their continuing relations with these groups and states in the 1980s." For its 
"analysis," the Department drew on a narrow swath of rightist sources, such as 
Claire Sterling, the ADL, the Council for Inter- American Security, Midstream, 
the Heritage Foundation, the Cuban- American National Foundation and the 
Center for International Security. 

34. Edward Cody, "Managua's Jews Reject Anti-Semitism Charge," 
Washington Post, August 29, 1983. 

35. Weisbrot, "Dateline Managua: Anti-Semitism or Anti-climax.'" 

36. "Anti-Semitism Should Have No Place in the Nicaragua Debate," 
Letter to the New York Times, April 18, 1986. 

Footnotes to pages 173-177 257 

37. Mideast Observer, April 1, 1986. 

38. Tom Tugend, "American Jews split over sanctuary issue," Jerusalem 
Post, March 13, 1987. 

39. "U.S. Jews Offer Sanctuary," Israeli Foreign Affairs, June 1985. 

40. Evans & Novak, "The Missing Paragraphs," Washington Post, July 27 , 

41. Joseph Berger, "Nicaragua's Jews: Wide Disagreement on Status," 
New York Times, April 20, 1986. 

42. Alexander Reid, "Jewish League Reports on Bias in Nicaragua," New 
York Times, April 5, 1986. 

43. Author's source. 

44. Laurie Becklund, "Sandinistas Are Anti-Semitic, Group Charges," 
Los Angeles Times, March 14, 1985. 

45. "Ex-Nicaraguan Jews accuse Sandinistas of anti-Semitism," JTA in 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin, April 18, 1986. 

46. Ignacio Klich, "Initiative from Niciiigm," Jerusalem Post, November 
11, 1986. 

47. Mideast Observer, March 15, 1986; New York Times, March 6, 1986. 

48. Interview with Michael Saba, 1985. 

49. Interview with Zehdi Terzi, Palestine Liberation Organization 
Permanent Representative to the United Nations, February 1985. 

50. Interview with Miriam Hooker, Nicaraguan Embassy press attache, 
February 1985. 

51. L« Prensa (Managua), January 25, 1985 in FBIS Latin America, 
January 28, 1985, p. P-13; Managua Domestic Service, 2306 GMT, January 
25, 1985 in FBIS Latin America, January 28, 1985, p. P-12; durmgthe same 
period Iran negotiated trade agreements with Honduras, Uruguay, Brazil and 

52. In 1984 Iran and Nicaragua issued a joint communique condemning 
U.S. military maneuvers in Central America and the Persian Gulf, the invasion 
of Grenada, and the racist regime in South Africa, and declaring support for the 
Palestinian and Polisario causes (Havana International Service, 1600 GMT, 
March 18, 1984 in FBIS March 20, 1984, p. Q-9). 

53. New York Times, March 6, 1986; "Reagan Bids Jews Support 
Contras," Israeli Foreign Affairs, April 1986. 

54. Mideast Observer, April 1, 1986. 

55. Author's source. 

56. Moses Rischin, The Promised City, Harvard University Press, Cam- 
bridge, MA, 1962, p. 97 in Roberta Strauss Feuerlicht, The Fate of the Jews, 
Times Books, New York, 1983, pp. 93-94 and passim. 

57. Victor Navasky, Naming Names, Viking, New York, 1980, pp. 

58. Nathan and Ruth A. Perlmutter, The Real Anti-Semitism, Arbor 
House, 1982, argues that fundamentalists make better allies than the more 
liberal Christian organizations, such as those grouped in the National Council 
of Churches, with their tendency to issue statements supportive of Palestinian 

258 Footnotes to pages 177-181 


59. Donald E. Wagner, "Anxious for Armageddon," All in the Name of the 
Bible, edited by Hassan Haddad and Donald E. Wagner, PHRC Special Report 
#5 , (The Palestine Human Rights Campaign, 1 Quincy Court, 220 South State 
St., Suite 1 308, Chicago, IL 60604) April 1 985, pp. 1 2-24; thanks also to Sara 
Diamond, for many illuminating explanations of premillenialism. 

60. Perlmutter, The Real Anti-Semitism, it>Y>- 171-172. 

6 1 . According to Sara Diamond, the focus of the leading televangelists has 
become more political, less "supernatural." 

62. Grace Halsell, Prophecy and Politics: Militant Evangelists on the Road to 
Nuclear War, Lawrence Hill & Co., 1986. The author provides first-hand 
evidence of President Reagan's adherence to this superstition. 

63. "U.S.Jewry no longer is Israel's hckey ," Jewish Post and Opinion, April 
3, 1985. 

64. David Silverberg, "Which priority for Jews: Israel or liberal causes.'" 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin, November 22, 1985. 

65. "U.S. Jews against Contras," Jewish Currents, June 1986. 

Will the Lessons Be Learned? 

1. "Nicaragua: Efforts to Heal," Israeli Foreign Affairs, February 1985. 

2. Jerusalem Post, November 1 1,1986. 

3. Ibid., December 4, 1986. 

4. Letter to editor. Middle East International, December 19, 1986. 

5. Latin American Weekly Report ]mwiTy 15, 1987. 

6. Henry Kamm, "Israel Said to Seek Restoration of Diplomatic Ties with 
Nicaragua," New York Times, December 12, 1986. 

7. Ibid. 

8. E. Kaufman, "Israeli Involvement in Latin America," in W. Perry & P. 
Wehner (eds.), The Latin American Policies of U.S. Allies, Praeger (ca. 1 984), p 

9. Genesis 2, Sept.-Oct. 1984. 

10. "Nicaragua ayuda a la OLP, acusa Israel," AP, La Jornada, lune 19, 

11. Ha'aretz, June 18, 1986 in FBIS Middle East & Africa, June 19, 1986, 
p. 1-2. 

12. ANSA (Italian news agency) in La Jornada, January 6, 1987. 

13. UPI, Houston Post, December 6, 1986. 

14. "Una derrota politica de Reagan en la ONU," Barricada, November 4, 

Footnotes to pages 187-189 259 


1. Paul Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, Lawrence Hill, Westport CT, 
1985, pp. 12-22. 

2. Ibid., pp. 21-22. 

3. Wolf Blitzer, Between Washington and Jerusalem, Oxford University 
Press, New York, 1985, p. 116. 

4. Ibid., p. 115. It is striking that no pretense is made that Israel might be 
supported on principle! 

5. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, p. 35. 

6. Richard H. Curtiss, A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the 
Arab-Israeli Dispute, American Educational Trust, Washington, DC, 1986, p. 

7. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, p. 36. 

8. Robert Scheer, "Israel Lobby— Clout but No Monolith," Los Angeles 
Times, April 7, 1983. 

9. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, pp. 187-188. 
\O.Ibid., 194-199. 

\\. Ibid, pp. 199-211. 
U. Ibid., pp. 212-241. 
U. Ibid., pp. 253-259. 

1 4. Robert Weisbord and Richard Kazarian, Jr., /jw/ in the Black American 
Perspective, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1985, chronicles black -Jewish 
relations from a Zionist perspective, and in so doing betrays the heavy-handed 
manipulativeness with which Jewish organizational leaders have dealt with 
black politicians and organizations. 

15. Earl Raab, "Timely book deals with feelings of blacks toward Israel," 
Northern California Jewish Bulletin, June 7, 1985 reviews the Weisbord- 
Kazarian book and notes that "We all have a stake in which segment of [the] 
black elite wins the minds of the black populace." The segment of that black 
"elite" to be excluded was described by Charles Silberman, the influential 
author of A Certain People — American Jews and Their Lives Today, as "younger 
persons with higer education" who ascribe to "the political anti-Semitism that 
pervades the ideology of the left worldwide." (Elsa Solender, "Author says 
doomsayers wrong on U.S. Jewry's fate," Ibid., September 27, 1985.) The 
"political anti-Semitism" referred to is, of course, anti-Zionism. 

16. Such incidents have been reported to the author many times — as they 
would be to anyone who bothered to ask. 

1 7. Rubenberg, Israel and the American National Interest, pp. 336-338. 

18. Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, p. 135. 

19. The administration secured a conviction of leading sanctuary activists 
in Arizona in 1986, but popular sentiment was so heavily against its targeting 
the mostly religious movement for spying and prosecution — and against its 
vindictive policies of returning Salvadoran and Guatemalan refugees to almost 
certain political execution — that it has not sought to follow up its largely 

260 Footnotes to pages 189-195 

Phyrric victory. 

20. The Los Angeles Times, has had the most complete coverage of this 
case, beginning on January 28, 1987. 

21. "Bomb Kills Leader of U.S. Arab Group," UPI, New York Times 
October 12, 1985. 

22. Letter from James G. Abourezk, National Chairman of ADC, 
October 13, 1985. 

23. A totally apolitical Palestinian-owned restaurant chain in suburban 
Chicago had one facility bombed to the ground. Others closed after a campaign 
against the chain featuring such tactics as posters saying "Mediterranean House 
food in your stomach is like Jewish blood on your hands," and "Money Spent 
Here Supports PLO Terrorism," applied to restaurant walls and adorned with 
red paint and raw liver. The excuse for the campaign was that among the radio 
advertising bought by the chain were spots on a Palestinian radio program. It 
also bought spots on Jewish programs (Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, pp. 
290-293). — ■ 

24. Robe rt I. Fried man, "Selling Israel to America," Mother Jones, Feb.- 
March, 1987: ' ' - 

25. Ibid. 

26. Ibid. 

27. Newsweek, September 3, 1979 in Findley, They Dare to Speak Out, p. 


28. Ibid., pp. 149-151. 

29. David K. Shipler, "Israel and the U.S. Stay on Speaking Terms," New 
York Times, December 29, 1985. 

30. Wolf Blitzer, "End of the Honeymoon," Jerusalem Post Magazine, 
January 16, 1987, reveals that offense was taken; there is no public record. 

31. "U.S.Jews weigh Israel— S. Africa arms A&a\s" ]T A., Jerusalem Post, 
February 20, 1987. 

32. Congressional Record, July 11, 1985, H 5469. 

33. "Reagan's China Card Trumped," Israeli Foreign Affairs, December 

34. The Senate version of the bill was later accepted by the House, in the 
interests of haste. 

35. Ha'aretz, March 20, 1987, quoted verbally by Israel Shahak, Stock- 
holm, March 26, 1987. 

36. Larry Cohler, "Black leaders agree to mute attack on Israel-S. Africa 
tie," Washington /^lijw/i Week, in Northern California Jewish Bulletin, April 10 

37. Author's sources. For a full history of the moves leading up to the 
report see "More Military Deals With South Africa," "Arms Sales to South 
Africa— Four More Years," and "Israel Moves to Block Congress, Save South 
African Arms Sales," Israeli Foreign Affairs, February, March and April 1 987. 

38. Doyle McManus, "Demos vying hard to lure wary Jewish voters," Los 
Angeles Times, (in Oakland Tribune April 2, 1984). 

39. New York Times, (in San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 1984). 

Footnotes to pages 196-199 261 

40. Interview with Berman aide, "Israeli Development Aid to Central 

41. It is also within the realm of possibility for activists, especially in 
coalition with unions or some other group with access to minimal funding, to 
put together a winning primary campaign in some congressional districts. In the 
aftermath, there would, naturally, be a struggle to get party support for an 
independent candidate, progressive across the board and willing as well to 
confront Israel, but in his first race for mayor of Chicago Harold Washington 
demonstrated that similar problems could be overcome (to the shame of those 
who caused them). 

42. March 18, 1983. 

43. The January 31, 1986 press release announcing the resolution— and 
another condemning anti- Arab racism in the U.S.— said that the resolution was 
passed "with the full understanding that Israel was the military supplier that 
receives the most American aid." 

44. This is the report cited above. Unfortunately, except for a very 
positive column by Colman McCarthy, the COH A report was largely ignored. 

45. Jews and Central America: the Need to Act, New Jewish Agenda, New 
York, 1985. Also Jews and the Sanctuary Movement. 

46. "Zim Sails On," Israeli Foreign Affairs, November 1986. 


Abourezk, James, 189 
Abrams, Elliott, 172 
Achille Lauro, 87, 190 
Adams, James, 23, 26, 43, 52 
ADL (Ami- Defamation League of 

B'nai B'rith), 78, 80, 82, 170, 

172, 173, 174, 177, 189 
Aeronica, 181 
AFL-CIO, 99 

Africa, 2 1,24, 25, 26, 28, 3 1,34, 57, 

Africa-Israel Investments, 22 

African National Congress (ANC), 
35,58, 74, 78, 79, 82, 198, 199 

Afro- Asian Institute, 57, 77, 82 

Agency for International Develop- 
ment see AID 

Agrexco, 64 

Agri-Carmel, 69 

Agridev, 69 

Aguilar, Joaquin, 101, 102 


AIFLD (American Institute for Free 
Labor Development), 99 

AIPAC (American Israel Public Af- 
fairs Committee), 10,50, 187, 188, 
189, 192, 194 

Algeria, 2 

AUon, Yigal, 23,31 

Alta Verapaz, 115, 120, 126 

Alvarez Martinez, Gustavo, 147 
Alvarez Ruiz, Donaldo, 116 
American- Arab Anti-Discrimination 

Committee, 87, 186, 190 
American Israel Public Affairs Com- 
mittee, see AIPAC, 78, 
American Jewish Committee, 8,171, 

American Jewish Congress, 8, 55, 

173, 194 
Americas Watch, 125 
Amigos del Pais, 1 15 
Anglo American, 64 
Angola, 1,16,28,41,43,48,56,57, 


ANSESAL, 98, 99 
Antarctica, 38, 39 

Anti-Defamation League of B'nai 

B'rith see ADL 
Arafat, Yasir, 87, 141, 174, 175, 187, 


Arava STOL (Short take-off and 
landing) aircraft, 26, 98, 101, 
110, 112-113, 133, 138, 141, 166 

Arazi, Yardene, 86 

Arbenz, Jacobo, 133 

Areata, California, 123 

ARENA (Nationalist Republican 
Alliance), 103, 105 

ARDE (Revolutionary Democratic 



Alliance), 148-150, 163 
Arens, Moshe, 44, 45 
Arevalo, Juan Jose, 133 
Argentina, 14, 15, 44, 52, 130, 145, 

146, 147, 155 
Aridor, Yoram, 72 
Ariel, 74 

Arizona, University of. Near Eastern 

Center, 188 
Armageddon, 125, 177 
Arzu Irigoyen, Alvaro, 131 
Asia, 95 

Asimo helicopters, 133 
Australia, 14, 36 
Austria, 40 

Baker, David, 38 
Balfour Declaration, 2 1 
Bantustans, 55, 68, 71-77, 90 
Bar- Am, Avraham, 1 55 
Barbados, 113 
Barnes, Michael, 173 
Baron, Sydney, 29 
BBC, 38 

"Beans and Bullets," 119 

Begin, Menachem, 10, 26, 71, 72, 

104, 112, 168, 176, 177 
Behrhorst Clinic/Foundation, 124 
Beit Berl, 81 
Belgium, 26, 114, 127 
Belize, (formerly British Honduras) 

112, 113, 114, 131 
Bell helicopter, 40 
Ben Gurion, David, 24, 26 
Ben Gurion University, 69, 86 
Ben-Or, Pesakh, 129, 130, 152, 153 
Bergmann, Ernst, 35 
Berman, Howard, 96, 97, 194, 196 
Bermudez, Enrique, 164 
Bet Shemesh engine plant, 44 
Beukes, Hennie, 72, 73 
Bialkin, Kenneth, 1 76 
Biden, Joseph, 193 
Bingham, Jonathan, 37 
Black, George, 128 

B'nai B'rith, 8, 79, 129 see also ADL 

(Anti-Defamation League) 
Boeing 707 aircraft, 42 
Boesky, Ivan, 1 76 
Bokassa, Jean-Bedel, 14 
Boland Amendment, 161 
Bolivia, 14 

Bophuthatswana, 73, 74, 77, 86 

Boschwitz, Rudy, 193 

BOSS (Bureau of State Security), 27 

Boston Symphony Orchestra, 188 

Botha, P.W., 1,26, 29, 34 

Botha, Pik, 48, 49 

Botswana, 58 

Brazil, 14, 99, 166 

Brickner, Balfour, 171 

Britain, see UK 

Bull, Gerald, 39 

Bumpers, Dale, 105 

Burkina Faso, 24 

Business Day, 66 

Buthelezi, Gatsha, 55, 74-80, 82, 83 
Cabinda, 48 

Calero, Adolfo, 151, 156, 158, 163 

Calero, Mario, 151 

Cameroon, 14, 90 

Camp David Accords, 10, 37, 66, 

145, 159 
Campaign California, 83 
Campaign for Economic Democracy, 


Canada, 39, 85, 150, 198 

CapeTown, 71,81,86, 87 

Caribbean, 16 

Carpio NicoUe, Jorge, 130 

Carter Administration, 7, 10, 15, 36, 
37, 78, 89, 97, 99, 101, 111, 

Carter, Jimmy 82 

Casey, William, 152, 158, 161, 163 
Castillo Ramirez, Fernando, 119 
Castro, Fidel, 141 
Catholic Church, 108, 119, 124 

Index 265 

Cayman Islands, 1 14 

Cengue, Lifford, 79 

Center for Foreign Policy Options 
(CPFO), 81-83 

Central African Republic, 14 

Central America, 97, 98, 100, 102- 
105, 109, 130, 132, 148, 152, 

Central America Report, 128 
Central American Confederation of 

Jewish Communities, 108 
Central Selling Organization (of 

DeBeers), 61 
Cerezo, Vinicio, 126, 127, 130, 131 
Chalatenango, 107 
Chamorro, Edgar, 148, 158, 170 
Chatila (refugee camp), 147 
Chavez Mena, Fidel, 103, 106, 109 
Cheetah, 1-2, 42, 43, 44 
Chemavir-Masok, 52 
Chemtra, 64 

Chile, 13, 14, 43,44, 105, 155, 166 
China, Peoples Republic, 14, 15, 33, 

Christian Broadcasting Network, 

Christian Voice of Hope radio, 125 

Church of the Word, 123, 124 

CIA, 3,4,24,28,29,36, 37, 39,59, 
60, 83, 99, 100, 106, 124, 145, 
160-164, 166, 167, 170, 191 

Ciskei, 71-73, 74 

Ciskatex, 72 

City Press, 55 

Civil Patrols, 107, 121, 122 

Clark Amendment, 16, 29 

Clark, Dick, 29 

Classic Cars, 72 

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, 

Cody, Edward, 1 72 

Colombia, 14, 149, 150, 166, 180 
Commonwealth of Nations, 23, 59, 

Eminent Persons Group, 58 
Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act 

of 1986, (Section 508), 6, 49-51, 

89, 91, 194 
Computer (intelligence), 100, 117, 

118, 133 
CONDECA, 99, 132 
Conference of Presidents of Major 

Jewish Organizations, 176 
Congress, 3-7, 9-12, 36-38, 44, 45, 

49-52, 65, 79, 80, 89, 91, 95, 

96, 99, 101-103, 105, 106^ 111, 



188, 191, 192, 194, 197 
Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), 

37, 76, 194 
Congressional Record, 1 76 
Conlog, 64 

Consolidated Power, 52, 128 
Constable, John, 101 
Contadora, 180 

Contras,3,5, 10, 103,114, 129, 141, 
179, 181, 192, 196 

Conyers,John, 37, 38, 192, 193 

Copenhagen, 40 

Costa Rica, 13, 74, 96, 99, 103, 148, 

149, 166-168 
Council on Hemispheric Affairs, 171, 


Cranston, Alan, 50, 193, 194, 195 
Cuba, 43, 141 
Curtis, Ira, 73 
Cyprus, 59 

D'Aubuisson, Roberto, 98, 103, 105 
Dabur patrol boat, 40,43, 113, 134, 

Dagan, Pinhas, 153 
Dan, Uri, 56 
Davar, 109 


Davis Cup, 85 
Dayan, Moshe, 24, 27 
Deaver, Michael, 1 1 5 
DeBeers, 6 1 

Defense Intelligence Agency, 36 
De Gaulle, Charles, 12 
DEGEM Systems, 116 
Dellums, Ronald V., 50, 194, 195 
Delvalle, Eric Arturo, 150 
Democratic Party, 189, 195 
Denmark, 40 
Denton, Jeremiah, 79 
deSapio, Carmine, 29 
D'Escoto, Miguel, 172 
de Villiers, Les, 29 
Diamonds, 61 
Dideco, 109 
Dimona, 2, 33, 34, 38 
Dodd, Christopher, 193 
Dominican Republic, 1 3 
dos Santos, Jose Eduardo, 59 
Duarte, Jose Napoleon, 101, 103, 

105, 106, 107, 109 
Durban, 76, 87, 
Duvalier, Jean-Claude, 14 

Eagle Military Gear Overseas (Eagle 
Israeli Armaments, Desert Eagle) 

Eagleburger, Lawrence, 164 
Eagleton, Thomas, 187 
EATSCO, 145 
Eban, Abba, 77, 114 
Ecuador, 14, 114, 155 
Economist, 28, 75 
Efrati, Amikam, 60 
EGP, (GuerHlla Army of the Poor), 
115, 120 

Egypt, 3,9, 10,23,25,26, 37, 42, 
66, 103, 104, 123, 125, 145, 158, 
159, 190 

Eilat, 66 

Eisenhower, D wight D., 9 
Elbit, 47 
ElDia, 118 

Elron, 64 

El Salvador, 6, 14, 74, 98-110, 111, 
173, 180, 181 

England, see United Kingdom 

Epol, 64 

Erasmus, E.G., 23 
Erlich, Simcha, 26 
Eshkol, Levi, 35 
Esquivel, Manuel, 1 3 1 
Ethiopia, 14, 15 

Euromoney Trade Finance Report, 

European Community (EC), 63, 64, 
89, 131 

Evangelical Gospel Outreach, 123 
Evans, Dan, 49, 50, 193 
Export Bulletin, 65 

Falwell, Jerry, 125, 176, 177 

Farber, Rafi, 87 

FBI, 153, 189, 190 

FDN (Nicaraguan Democratic 

Force), 146, 149, 150, 151, 153, 

158, 163, 164, 170 
FDR (Democratic Revolutionary 

Front), 100, 101, 102, 103, 105 
Federation of Jewish Communities 

of Central America and Panama, 


Financial Times, 59 
Findley, Paul, 187, 188 
Fisher, Max, 1 76 

FLNA (Angolan National Libera- 
tion Front), 59 

FMLN (Farabundo Marti National 
Liberation Front), 100, 103 

Fonda, Jane, 81, 83 

Ford Administration, 28, 112 

Ford, Gerald, 10 

Fouche, J.J., 27 

Foundation for Aid to the Indian 

People (FUND API), 124 
Framatome, 38 

France,2, 7, 10, 26, 33,35, 38, 41, 

Index 267 

60, 73,98,99, 114, 127, 150, 193 

Francis, Fred, 163 

Frank, Barney, 194 

Frost, Martin, 194 

FSLN (Sandinista National Libera- 
tion Front), 139, 141, 175 


Fusiles y Frijoles, 1 1 9 

Gabriel missile, 40, 43, 52, 59, 1 13 
Galil assault rifle, 43 , 1 1 0, 1 1 3 , 1 1 5, 

134, 138, 141, 142, 166, 172 
GAM (Mutual Support Group), 1 2 7 
Garcia Granados, Jorge, 1 12 
Gaza, see Occupied Territories 
Gazelle helicopters, 42 
Georgetown Center for Contempor- 
ary Arab Studies, 188 
Georgetown University Center for 
Strategic and International Studies, 

Gerber-Goldschmidt, 69 

Germany (Federal Republic — West 
Germany), 22, 35, 43, 57, 86, 108, 
109, 127, 149 

Germany (Nazi), 8 

Ghana, 14,24, 96 

Gil'ad, Amos, 153 

Giron, Leonel, 119 

Golan Heights, see Occupied Ter- 

Goren, Osias S., 82 

Goren, Shlomo, 27 

Corn, Abraham, 170, 171, 173 

Gorn, Elena, 1 74 

Gospel Outreach, 123, 124 

Great Britain, see United Kingdom 

Greece, 26, 114 

Greenberg, Maxwell F., 82 

Greenpeace, 39 

Greenstein and Rosen, 64 

Guanacaste, 96 

Guatemala, 4, 13, 14, 26, 52, 53, 95, 
97,99, 100, 107-9, 112-135, 151, 

180, 186, 197 
Army School of Transmissions 

and Electronics, 116, 129 
Human Rights Commission 

(CDHG), 124 

Municipal Workers Union, 131 
Guerra y Guerra, Rene Francisco, 

98, 100, 102, 109 
Guerrero, Jose Francisco, 104, 105 
Guerrilla Army of the Poor see EGP 
Gur Construction Company, 73 
Gush Emunim, 139 
Gutierrez, Margo, 112 
Guttfreund Hanchel, Enrique, 108 

Ha'aretz, 69 

Haganah, 137, 138 

Haig, Alexander, 1 1 5, 1 60, 1 6 1 , 1 62 

Hannaford-Deaver, 115 

Haifa, 40, 47, 86, 87 

Haiti, 14, 129 

(Al) Hamishmar, 197 

Hanlon, Joseph, 57 

Harvard University, 101 

Hasbara Project, 1 90 

Hasenfus, Eugene, 3 

Hassan II, King, 53 

Hauser, Rita, 90 

Hayakawa, S.I., 29, 83 

Hayden, Tom, 81, 82 

Healey, Denis, 75 

Hebrew University, 88 

Hecht, Chic, 176 

Helms, Jesse, 50, 106, 193, 194 

Hempstone, Smith, 79 

Hendler, Archie, 64 

Hernandez Mendez, Jaime, 130 

Herut Party, 72 

Herzl, Theodore, 2 1 

Herzog, Chaim, 26 

Histadrut, 24, 57, 62, 64, 69, 77, 

82, 83, 99. See also Afro-Asian 

Institute; Koor 
Hod, Mordechai, 25, 54 


Holocaust, 9, 20, 21, 32, 55, 81, 186 

Honduras, 14, 96, 97, 98, 99, 115, 
171, 180 

Honey Crunch, 64 

Horwood, Owen, 68, 73 

Hurwitz, Oscar, 29 

Ikle, Fred, 166 

Independent Television (UK), 39 

India, 33 

Indian Head, 72 

Indian Ocean, 36 

Indonesia, 14 

Inkatha, 75, 76, 77 

Interconair, 42 

International Center for Develop- 
ment Policy, 150 

International Cooperation Division 
(of Israeli Foreign Ministry), 120 

International Fellowship of Recon- 
ciliation, 197 

International Institute for Strategic 
Studies, 40 

International Tennis Federation, 85 

Iran,2,14, 15,52,66,151,152, 156, 
165, 166, 174, 175 
Iran-Iraq War, 152 

Iran-contra Affair, 3-4, 11, 15, 52, 
97, 145, 146, 152-154, 159, 165, 
175, 179, 181, 192 

Iraq, 33, 52, 53, 125, 146 

Iscor, Ltd., 66 

ISDS, (International Security and De- 
fense Systems) 153, 155 

Iskoor, 45, 52, 62, 64, 66 

Islamic Conference Organization, 

Israel Aircraft Industries (lAI), 2,13, 

32,41,44,47, 98, 104, 153 
Israel Chamber Orchestra, 86 
Israel-South Africa Friendship Lea- 
gue, 26 

Israel-South Africa Industrial and Ag- 

ricultural Research and Develop- 
ment Programme, 68 
Israel Tennis Authority, 85 
Israeli-South African Friendship Lea- 
gue, 88 

Israeli Military Industries, (IMI), 129 
Italy, 40,87, 114 
Ixil Triangle, 124 

Jackson, Jesse, 195 

Jamail, Milton, 112 

Japan, 44, 64, 78 

Jane's Defence Weekly, 69 

Jepson, Roger, 29 

Jericho missile, 38 

Jerusalem Post, 76, 85, 88, 89, 167 

Jewish Agency, 85, 177 

Jewish Defense League, 1 73 

Jewish Institute for National Secur- 
ity Affairs, wJINSA 

Jewish Telegraph Agency QTA), 
78, 96 

Jewish Week (Washington, D.C.), 78, 

JINSA, 175, 176 
Johannesburg, 87 
Johnson Administration, 10 
Jordan, 9,25, 58-59, 102, 125 
"Judea and Samaria" see Occupied 

Kahane, Meir, 72 
Kaibiles, 113 
Kalahari Desert, 35 
Katz, David Marcus, 129, 139, 147, 

Katzir, Ephraim, 31, 113 
Kaunda, Kenneth, 48 
Kellerman, Sarita and Oscar, 1 74 
Kennedy Administration, 10, 99 
Kennedy, Edward, 37 
Kennedy, Joseph, Jr., 189 
Kenya, 14 

Kfir aircraft, 5, 13, 14, 44, 52, 114, 

135, 147, 148, 166, 180 
KGB, 191 

Index 269 

Khashoggi, Adnan, 42, 166 
Khomeini, Ayatollah, 175, 
Kimche, David, 77, 90, 103, 162, 

164, 165 
Kirkpatrick, Jeane, 168 
Kissinger, Henry, 16, 28 
Klepfisc, Heszel, 1 7 1 
Klinghoffer, Leon, 87 
Knesset, 15, 66, 84, 102, 114, 151 
Koeberg nuclear reactor, 38 
Koor, 64, 65, 69 
Kruger Park, 87 
Kruger, S., 68 
Kuwait, 125 
KwaZulu, 74, 77, 78 

Labor Alignment, 1 79 

La Prensa (Managua), 140 

La Republica (Costa Rica), 140, 146 

Latchinian, Gerard, 153 

Latin America, 95 

Laugerud Garcia, Kjell, 113, 119 

Lavi aircraft, 43, 44, 45 

Lebanon, 33, 57, 58, 63, 83, 98, 123, 


177, 192 
South Lebanon Army, 125 
Ledeen, Michael, 175 
Leiken, Robert, 105 
Leitner, Yehuda, 153 
LeMoyne, James, 109 
Lesotho, 26 
Levin, Sander, 194 
Levine, Charley, 80 
Liat, 66 
Liberia, 14 

Libya, 58, 78, 80, 145, 158, 174, 

175, 176 
Liebes, Ernesto, 100 
Likud coalition, 72, 179 
Lithuania, 2 1 
Lobby, pro-Israeli, 11-12 
Lopez Nulla, Reynaldo, 107 
Los Alamos National Laboratory, 


Los Angeles, 8 1 
Love Lift International, 124 
Lucas Garcia, Benedicto, 113, 115, 
117, 123 

Lucas Garcia, Romeo, 4, 113, 116, 

117, 120, 129 
Lugar, Richard, 157 

Ma'ariv, 89 

Maccabiah Games, 84-85 

Machel, Samora, 48, 49, 58 

MacMichael, David, 1 54 

Magana, Alvaro, 103, 104, 105, 106 

Magana, Ernesto, 104 

Malan, Daniel, 22,23 

Malawi, 26, 48, 60, 96 

Malchi Shipping Tours and Travel 

Ltd., 87 
Mandela, Nelson, 75, 79 
Mansdorf, Amos, 85 
Mapam Party, 88, 179, 180, 197 
Marcos, Ferdinand, 14, 116 
Marion Island, 38-39 
Masada, 3 1 
Mashav, 97 

Matamoros, Bosco, 163 
Mathias, Charles McC, 6, 49, 50, 89, 

Mauritius, 26 

Mayans (Indigenous Guatemalans) 

111, 121-124, 126 
Maylasia, 14 

McCarran- Walters Act, 189 
McFarlane, Robert, 161-162 
Meese, Edwin, 165 
Meir, Golda, 25 

Mejia Victores, Oscar, 117, 118, 

119, 122, 125, 127, 132 
Memorandum of Agreement, 1 59 
Memorandum of Understanding 

(MOU), 159-160 
Mendez Montenegro, Julio Cesar, 


Meridor, Yacov, 16 
Merkava tank, 5, 45 


Index 271 

Mexico, 14,67, 118, 119, 130, 139, 
147, 149, 150, 171, 180 

Milchan, Arnon. 29 

Milwaukee Jewish Council, 171 

Minty, Abdul, 49 

Mirage aircraft, 13, 26, 43, 114 

MLN (Movement of National Lib- 
eration), 128, 129 

MNR (Mozambican National Resis- 
tance), 60 

Mobutu Sese Sekou, 14, 48, 49, 59 

"Model Villages," 120-127 

Moment, 171 

Mondale, Walter, 189 

Monge, Luis Alberto, 167-168 

Montealegre, Julio, 151 

Morocco, 14, 52, 53 

Mossad, 13, 26, 150, 162, 190, 191 

Mozambique, 28, 41, 42, 48, 49, 

MPLA (Popular Movement for the 

Liberation of Angola), 59 
Muenster, 64 

Mulder, Connie, 28, 29, 34 
Muldergate, 29, 88 
Murkowski, Frank, 193 

Nahal, 73 

Namibia, 25, 26, 55-57 
Napalm, 101, 110 
Nasser, Gamal Abdel, 23 
Natal, 74, 75, 76 

National Academy of Engineers, 37 
National Academy of Sciences, 3 7 
National Conference of Black Law- 
yers, 198 
National Cooperative Institute (Gua- 
temala), 119 
National Jewish Coalition, 1 74 
National Plan (El Salvador), 107 
National Public Radio, 41, 88, 126, 
150, 164 

National Security Council, (NSC), 
36, 132, 148, 152, 154, 158, 167, 

Naval Research Laboratory (U.S.), 

NBC, 164 
Near East Report, 11 
Neier, Aryeh, 125 
Nesher aircraft, 52 
Netherlands, 31 (KLM, 115) 
New Jewish Agenda, 171, 173, 180, 

New York Times, 109, 139, 160, 

170, 180, 190 
New Zealand, 14 
Newport, Eugene (Gus), 59 
Nicaragua, 3, 14, 95-98, 130, 132, 

137-143, 145-148, 150, 153, 155, 

158, 160-163, 165-168, 170-175, 
178-181, 199 

Nicaragua Agrarian Reform Re- 
search and Study Center, 1 79 
Nicaragua, Israeli Committee in 
Solidarity with, 1 79 
Nigeria, 14, 34 
Nightline, 190 
Nimrodi, Ya'acov, 152, 166 
Nir, Amiram, 165 
Nixon Administration, 10 
Nkrumah, Kwame, 24 
Nonaligned Movement, 28, 162, 

176, 180 
Noriega, Manuel Antonio, 150 
North, Oliver, 148, 152, 154, 158, 

159, 165, 175 

November 29 Committee for Pales- 
tine, 199 

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, 

35,67, 192 
Nuclear Weapons, 2-3, 10-11, 15, 

19, 32-39, 89, 192, 193, 198 
Nudelstejer, Sergio, 171 
Nueva Diario, 1 72 

Oakland Tribune, 45 
OAS (Organization of American 
States), 113 

OAU (Organization of African Un- 
ity), 25, 34, 60 
Obando y Bravo, Miguel, 1 72 
Occupied Territories, 2, 33, 54, 60, 
74, 90, 116, 123, 160, 177, 188, 

Ochoa Perez, Sigifredo, 98, 107 
Odeh, Alex, 87, 186, 190 
Olympics, 84 

Olympic Council of Asia, 84 
Oppenheimer, 64 
Oren Toys, 68 

Organization of African Unity, see 

ORPA, (Revolutionary Organiza- 
tion of People in Arms), 118 
Oto Melara, 40 

PAAC (Program of Assistance to 

Areas in Conflict), 120 
"Pacification," 95, 96, 107-109, 118- 

127, 128, 196, 197 
Pakistan, 194 

Palestine, 7, 11, 21,22,23, 112 
Palestine Olympic Committee, 84 
Palestine Liberation Organization, 

(PLO) 28, 58, 79, 80, 87, 101, 


181, 187, 190, 198 
Palestinians, 14, 19,77,79,91, 118, 


188, 189, 192, 197, 198 
Palindaba nuclear reactor, 35 
Panama, 14, 99,129,132,150,171, 


Papua-New Guinea, 14 
Paraguay, 14, 31 
Passos, Rosa, 150 
Pastora, Eden, 148-150, 163 
Pat, Gideon, 63, 128 
Paz, Yehuda, 82 

Pell, Claiborne, 50, 157, 193, 194 

Pell Amendment, 157 
Perera, Victor, 1 1 3 
Peres, Shimon, 28, 29, 35, 53, 66, 76, 
89, 101, 102, 152, 165, 180 

Perez, Julio, 152, 166 

Perlmutter, Nathan, 177 

Perrin, Francis, 2, 34 

Peru, 14, 149 

Philippines, 14, 96, 116 

Phoenix Program, 107 

Pinochet, Augusto, 14 

Plan Victoria, 118 

Poles of Development, 119, 121, 

122, 125, 130, 131 
Polichrom, 64 

Polisario Front, see Sahrawi Arab 

Democratic Republic 
Pollard, Jonathan Jay, spy affair 52, 


Poran, Ephraim, 72 
Portugal, 28, 60, 96 
Pratt and Whitney, 44 
Pressler, Larry, 193 
Progressive Federal Party, 75 
Project David, 29 
Project Democracy, 152 
Project 1,000 (El Salvador), 108 

Qaddafi, Muammar, 78, 174, 175 
Quiche, 122, 124, 126 

Rabanales, Jaime, 1 1 8 

Rabin, Yitzhak, 27-29, 31, 51, 148, 

152, 154, 194 
Radio Venceremos, 1 03 
Ramirez, Sergio, 1 80 
Ramirez, William, 181 
Ramos, Arnaldo, 100 
RB Y armored personnel carrier, 113, 


Reagan Administration, 3, 10-11, 

Reagan, Ronald, 74, 82, 89, 101, 
177, 178 

Red Cross, International Committee 
for, 108 


Red Sea, 66 

Redgrave, Vanessa, 188 
Religious Action Center, 1 94 
Religious Right, 4, 10, 124 
Rename, see MNR 
Reshef missile boat, 42, 43 
Revolutionary Organization of Peo- 
ple in Arms, see ORPA 
Rhodes, Cecil, 21 
Rhodesia, 14, 40 
Rhoodie, Eschel, 28, 29 
Ribicoff, Abraham, 187 
_ Rich, Marc, 53 

"RTos MonttTElSn, 4, 1 18, 119, 120, 

123, 124, 129, 197 
Robelo, Alfonso, 149 
Roberto, Holden, 59 
Robertson, Pat, 124, 125, 176, 177 
Roman Catholic Church see Catholic 

Romero, Oscar Arnulfo, 146 
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 9 
Rosenfeld, Stephen, 1 90 
Rosenthal, Morton, 170, 171, 174 
Rosenwasser, Nat, 72 
Rotem, Amnon, 65 
Rotoflight Helicopters, 52 

Sa'ada, Emil, 153 
Sabra (refugee camp), 147 
Sadat, Anwar, 10 
Safari I nuclear reactor, 35 
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, 

Sanders, Edward, 82 

Sandinista National Liberation Front 

see FSLN 
Sandock-Austral shipyard, 47 
Sandoval Alarcon, Mario, 129 
San Vicente, 107 
Saudi Arabia, 3,60, 125, 158 
Savimbi, Jonas, 59 
Sayre, Francis B., 188 
Schneider, Yosef, 72, 74 

Schwimmer, Al, 152 

Scorpion helicopter, 52 

Sebe, Charles, 72, 73 

Sebe, Lennox, 72 

Secord, Richard, 158 

Sentrachem, 64 

Seychelles, 87 

Shafrir missile, 40, 166 

Shamir, Yitzhak, 50, 51, 76, 86, 90, 



Sharon, Ariel, 56, 59, 146, 148, 160, 
166, 168 

Sharon, Ilan, 73 

Sharrett, Moshe, 24 

Sherwood International Export Cor- 
poration 153 

Shultz, George, 11, 159, 161 

SIAG, (Servicio de Informacion y 
Analisis de Guatemala), 122 

Sierra Leone, 66 

Siegman, Henry, 173 

Simhoni, Uri, 156 

Singapore, 14, 40 

Singlaub, John, 153 

SIPRI (Stockholm International 
Peace Research Institute), 41 

Smith, Wayne, 153 

Smuts, Jan, 21, 22, 

Sobel, Ronald B., 172 

Socialist International, 149 

Solarz, Stephen, 37, 126 

Somoza Debayle, Anastasio, 14, 101, 
170, 171, 174 

Somoza Garcia, Anastasio, 137-138 

Sotz Cate, Mercedes, 1 3 1 

South Africa, 1-2, 5, 6, 10, 13-16, 
19-93, 106, 127, 128, 149, 156, 
200 {see also Israel-South Africa) 
Associates of, 86 
Congress of South African 
Trade Unions (COSATU), 77 

Index 273 

Council for Scientific and Indus- 
trial Research, 27 

Development Bank of, 73 
South Africa Airways, 73, 87 
South African Communist Party, 79 
South Atlantic Corporation, 61 
South Atlantic Ocean, 36 
South Korea, 64, 120, 157 
South West African Peoples Organ- 
ization, see SWAPO 
Southern Air Transport, 1 52 
Soviet Union, see USSR 
Soweto, 76 

Space Research Corporation, 

39-40, 52 
Spadafora, Hugo, 150 
Spain, 130, 150 
Speizer, Eliyah, 35 
Spiegel, Steven, 81,82 
Sri Lanka, 14, 52, 53 
Star of Hope television, 125 
Stavisky, Isaac, 170, 171, 173 
Stein, Jack, 176 

Stellenbosch, University of, 64 
Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, 171 
Stockwell, John, 59 
Suazo Cordoba, Roberto, 153 
Sudan, 125 

Summer Institute of Linguistics, 124 

Sun City, 73, 87, 156; see also Bop- 

Sunday Times (London), 1 

SWAPO (South West African Peo- 
ples Organization), 56 

Swaziland, 14, 26, 48, 66 

Sweden, 80 

Switzerland, 13 

Syria, 123, 125 

Tadiran, 47, 52, 116, 117, 128, 129 
Tahal, 168 

Taiwan, 13, 14,68, 106, 120, 157 
Tambo, Oliver, 79 
Tammus, 73 
Tanzania, 14 
Technion, 69 

Techo, tortilla y trabajo, 119 
Tel Aviv, University of, 64 
Terrell, Jack, 150 
Thailand, 14, 96 
Thatcher, Margaret, 74 
Transfer Agreement, 8 
Transvaal Mattress, 64 
Truman Administration, 9 
Tunisia, 33, 58, 59 
Tunney, John, 29, 82 
Turkey, 125 

Tutu, Desmond, 55, 76, 81, 82 

UCLA, 81 
Uganda, 14, 54 

URNG (Unidad Revolucionaria Na- 
cional Guatemalteca), 122 

Union of American Hebrew Con- 
gregations, 178 

USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist 
Republics), 7, 9, 33, 35, 79, 80, 84, 
88, 161, 177 

Unita, 42, 59 

Unitarian Universalist Association, 

United Democratic Front (tJDF), 
75, 82 

UK (United Kingdom), 9, 10, 21- 
24, 33, 35, 41, 52, 78, 112, 131, 
145, 179 

UN (United Nations), 1, 7, 9, 10, 
23-26,28,40,41,64, 76,78,102- 

Development Program, 108 
Special Committee Against A- 

partheid, 84 
Special Committee on Palestine, 


United to Rebuild, 109 
United States-Israel Cooperative De- 
velopment Research (CDR), 96-98 
Unnatural Alliance, 26 
Upper Volta, see Burkina Faso 
Uruguay, 129 


Uzi submachine gun, 12, 26, 39, 43, 
55, 110, 113, 115, 138, 139, 142, 

van der Bergh, Hendrik, 27 
Vanunu, Mordechai, 2-3, 38 
Vatican, 124 
Venda, 73 

Venezuela, 14, 130, 149, 150, 180 
Vietnam (South), 10, 56, 57, 95, 98, 

107, 149 
Vital, 64 

Vorster, John, 26, 29, 31-32, 39, 40, 

54, 62, 68 
Voyager Corporation, 66 

Wade, Michael, 88 
Wall Street Journal, 1 76 
Walters, Ronald, 37 
Walters, Vernon, 158 
Washington Office on Africa, 37 
Washington Post, 172, 190 
Washington Times, 79, 118 
Weber, Vin, 176 
Weeden, Alvin, 1 50 
Weizenbaum, Joseph, 173 
Weizmann, Chaim, 21, 22 
Weizman, Ezer, 44 
West Africa, 29 

West Bank, see Occupied Territories 
West Germany, see Germany (Fed- 
eral Republic) 

West Lion, 114 

White House Digest, 173, 175 

Wilson, Edwin, 145, 158 

Wise, Stephen, 8 

Wohlers, Eduardo, 120 

Wolpe, Howard, 38, 76, 193 

World Bank, 109 

World Campaign Against Military 
and Nuclear Collaboration with 
South Africa, 37 

World Court, 181 

World Jewish Congress, 171 

Wycliffe Bible Translators, 124 

Yacobi, Gad, 109 
Yad Vashem, 32 
Yalihux, 120 

Young, Andrew, 10, 78, 189 
Yugoslavia, 1 14 

Zaire, 13, 14, 42,48, 59 
Zambia, 48, 49, 58 
Zelniker, Shimshon, 81-83 
Zim, 199 

Zimbabwe, 37, 58, 60 
Zimcorn, 61 

Zionism, 9, 19, 22,28, 31 
Zulu, 74, 75, 76 
Zululand, University of, 75 

^Isra^i Foreign Policy ; 

South />l|rica & bentral America 

Jane Hunter 

While the continuing coilflict in the Middle East keeps Israeli 
regional policies on the froni pages, much less is known about 
krael's relations with other parts of the world. In this path- 
llfieaking book, Jane Hunter exarnines Israeli foreign policy in 
afeas of special concern to Americans; relations with South Aftka, 
Central America, and policies around nuclear proliferation. 

Illuminating the political, military and economic links be- 
tween Israel and the apartheid state of South Africa, Hunter^ 
demonstrates ,how Israel's role counters the isolation of South 
Africa and undercuts sanctions injposed by the United States. 
Israel's aid to the repressive- #egi'mes of Gliatemala and El 
Salvador, as well as Israel's am \o the contras and participation in 
the arms-for-Iran scandal, is exarnined. 

Hunter concludes with a controversial discussion of how the 
U.S. use of Israel as a proxy t^ do our government's "dirty work" 
directly opposes our attempts to effect a progressive foreign 

:nd Press / 

Boston, MA